World Premier in India (Ranjana’s son’s film)
If you are in the Chicago area and looking for a wonderful way to be entertained while you are learning the art of Indian cooking, then look up Ranjana. I spent a lovely day with her in her very welcoming kitchen learning the nuances of Indian spices, what to do with chickpea flour, how to make the best, freshest chutneys, and much more. She will load you up with recipes, including paneer parantha (flatbread stuffed with homemade cheese), answer all your questions, and you can even pick up a whole set of Indian cooking spices from her. Spices are king here, well, queen.
After class Ranjana and I flung off our aprons and quickly headed out the door to downtown Chicago for yet another treat. This was a not to be repeated occasion, a lecture given by Indian cooking expert, actress and author, Madhur Jaffrey, a cousin of her dear friend. Sorry to say we left the dishes behind.
Thanks, Ranjana, you are so interesting, gracious, and spicy.
Ranjana just wrote to me via email on August 28, 2011.
French Cooking School
This is a wonderfully relaxing place about a two hour train ride outside of Paris. Monique is a charming host who really knows how to immerse you in all things French. Several years ago, I had the good fortune to zip along the Loire Valley countryside, (and I mean zip), in her little Peugeot going from market stall and shop searching for fresh produce and lovely linens for the table. She was met with that double cheek, cheek, kiss, kiss European-style hello everywhere we went. If you want to relax, ride bicycles, eat and learn how to make great food, all amid fields of sunflowers whose faces keep turning toward the sun, then grab your passport and Allez!
I was recently corresponding with Deborah Madison, well regarded author and slow food proponent, regarding baking classes in her area of New Mexico. She directed me to her friend, Margaret Campos of Comida de Campos. I have not yet had the pleasure of attending any of Margaret’s classes, but she has sent me a copy of her 2011 schedule.
There are red chile enchiladas, pork and vegetarian tamales, empanaditas, pastelitos, bischocitos, just to name a few of her offerings.
You may want to contact her if you are headed to New Mexico.
quote by Justin Torres, author of, We the Animals,
“My favorite pastime is finding teachers to admire”.
top photo by Susan…covered bridge, Vermont