Thursday, January 31, 2008

We call her "Duck Slayer"

Whelp, she has gone and done it again! In between working 6 and a half days a week, knitting, running, and chasing down opportunity, those wheels in her head just never stop turning. (If you listen you can hear them, we all do!) Jimmy has yet again come up with a way to spoil the "Team Jimmy Bean" gals rotten. What has she done this time? She treated us all to the most original idea yet....a cooking class at Nothing To It! We all gathered together in a beautiful kitchen and had ourselves some fun! *ETA* This was a way of celebrating the fact that we have sold some yarn. Enough yarn that if you tie all the ends together and stretched them out....way out...we have circled the entire planet! Watch out Mars!

Douglas Dale of Wolfdales restaurant in Tahoe City was our host/teacher. Besides being handsome as all get out, he was friendly and not the least bit condescending about cooking. Rather, he was passionate and inspiring! I am the first to admit a bit of "stage fright" when it comes to being put on the spot. Case in point, when it came time to actually cooking, the last thing I wanted to do was mess up in front of Chef or anyone else...that is why when he asked for volunteers to make the Japanese noodles I raised my hand immediately. How hard can noodles be, right? I will tell you that nerves take over and all you can think of is how many things can go wrong with noodles.

I remember a friend of mine when I was about 12. Her mom's technique for testing for doneness of spaghetti was to throw a noodle across the room and if it stuck, it was done. Well this is a good time when you are 12, but in a cooking class in front of all your friends and the handsome chef....not so cool. We were there to learn people! I have to add that one time when I was staying over at my friends, we had a noodle tossing/testing heck of a good time, and were throwing noodles around like crazy. We ended up in her bedroom and one finally stuck on her wall behind the bedroom door. It was there for ages. I can't remember how long later (years?) we went to remove it, and the paint literally came off the wall still sticking to the noodle! We laughed forever about that one. This is the same friend who gave me all her old Tiger Beat magazines full of Donny Osmond, Sean Cassidy and Leif Garrett. My mom wouldn't buy them for me, but her being an only child seemed to have everything I ever wanted. The same walls were covered with photos we would pull out of the magazines and tape to the walls...then imagine who was our boyfriend. She was a good friend until she took the turn in middle school and started smoking....but that is another story!

Again, can't do this in class. Oh well, I managed not to mess up the noodles by watching my clock intently for the 3 looooong minutes, and about every 15 seconds at the end pulling one out and tasting it....NOT tossing it any place.

The entire class was split into groups and each was assigned a portion of the menu to cook. Team Jimmy Beans was in charge of the duck! I am happy to say that we kicked some booty, but in my opinion the soup group came in a close second.

Douglas had preprepared some tea-smoked duck which was then deep fried in a giant pot of hot oil. This terrified me to no end! Something about that much hot oil nearing the flame over point and I am standing at the back of the class. We also got to stuff a duck, which Sandy loved! Here she is having a good time with her new friend...

I have never eaten duck before, but when something is being prepared in such a real way i.e. not by me, I will try anything once. I have to say that it was amazing!! If you ever get the chance to visit the restaurant you will not be disappointed!

The next thing was slicing and dicing and Jimmy was elected against her will, but still gracious enough, hence her name...."Duck Slayer"!

In her dream life, she is a chef who happens to knit! She is like "Duck to Water"...pun intended!

At the end of the night we all sat down to a delicious dinner prepared by everyone there and loved every bite. I would take another class there in a heartbeat! So much fun and the yarn shop that cooks together, stays together. We also eat together, play together, knit together....

Thanks once again, Jimmy, for an amazing adventure!


IrishgirlieKnits said...

Sounds like you girls had a great time!! Good to know that Jimmy Beans is not only a great place to shop (from my experience) but also a fabulous place for people to work (lucky you!!!).

Yarncarchick said...

Aw! Sad face that I had to miss it, but glad you all had a good time!

Freaky Knitter said...

You are the best blogger! I'm with you that the Duck Slayer is the best and so are you! Thanks memories!