Sunday, November 11, 2018

Now THAT Was An Adventure!!!!

So you want to be a Chef?  You want to be able to regale your guests with your piemanship?  Just look online and find a cooking school you can attend in the backwoods of an old Gold Mining Town. The cost you ask?  Only $40.  I signed up ... not because I'm having guests, but because it was something I'd never done before.

It's a 90 minute drive so I left at 8:00.  I even remembered how to get to Jamestown (there's only one road) the previous residence of the Chance family.  I've spent many a happy hour in Jamestown.

Right off the bat, I hit a snag.  The road I wanted to take was closed.  That meant a detour, which in a matter of five miles, had me as lost as I could be.  Nothing looked familiar.  After three wrong turns, I finally found Highway 49.

Now in the town of Columbia with one way streets ... even the two way streets were only one car wide ... I wandered around trying not to hit any parked cars.  I was lost again, taking another two wrong roads.  I would have used my phone GPS, but did I mentioned before, after my upgrade in order to use the watch, it now thinks I'm about 5 miles away in the middle of what looks like a lake.

FINALLY!  A sign pointing up an extremely steep hill, barely (and I mean BARELY) wide enough for my truck.  I floored it, hoping I would make the top.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make that hairpin turn and think I took out part of the hill, but around the corner I bumped and banged over the worst road ever before coming to a Y.  With momentum still going, I took a right.  WRONG!!

I ended up in some guys driveway at a house I was sure was abandoned, until he stuck his head out the window.  I'm SO sorry, I made a wrong turn.  The only way I had enough room to turn around was to pull almost completely into his garage.

The only way OUT was down the hill because I was NOT going to be able to make that right hand turn at the Y.  I seriously think half of my left wheels were hanging off the road.  I drove all the way back to Columbia before finding a block I could drive around because there was no room to TURN around anywhere.

By now I'm ready to scrap the entire idea.  I stopped at the bottom of the canyon ... I'm talking 35-40 degree hill here.  I put it in four wheel drive and gave it one more shot.  That hairpin turn surly got smaller the second time!!

At last, I ended up here, thinking I had the wrong place and there was NO room to turn around.  Hmmmm doesn't look like either a winery OR a cooking school.  I sat in the truck thinking maybe I was going to be kidnapped.
At long last, another car pulled up.  I asked if this was the place for cooking.  He pointed to two doors ... one the restroom and one the school.  I was afraid to go in either one, so I chose the restroom first.  It didn't bode well that the toilet would NOT flush.  What have I gotten myself into?????

When I peeked into the school door .... the big barn on the left .... I was relieved to see a wall at least 75 feet long with bookshelves to the ceiling, completely filled with more cookbooks than I've ever seen in my life.  I was given a white apron and told to wash my hands.  "Coffee is on the left".

I went to get coffee while I surveyed my surroundings, only to find a crazy fancy machine that I had no idea how to operate.  Ummmmmm I'm from a ranch in the boon tulles ... can you please show me how this works?  I felt like a dummy, but there were several ladies who very nicely helped me out.

Chef Ron has a sense of humor, as he told the group to be quiet (in no uncertain terms) and went on to describe the class.  We followed him into the DOUGH room, where this amazing tabletop is used for breads and pies.  Just look at the rolling pins behind him.

I was surprised to hear much of his equipment came from Costco.   Those Kirkland brand pots and pans are the BEST he said ... he's on year eight of using his.  We made three different types of pie dough.  He demonstrated one and made us make the others.
Interesting enough, those little scrapers on the table (like the blue one) used for cutting butter into the pie dough?  They are 99 cents at Ace Hardware, $4 at the kitchen store.  They worked so fabulously, I'm getting some.  

He cracked jokes the entire time.  What a funny guy!!  See the water bottle?  You never add in all the water and it does NOT have to be ice water.  When you still have lots of crumbs on the table and need more moisture, you use water from the spray bottle.  I'm sure my mouth was open the entire time as I was so surprised at his methods.  It worked like a charm.
So to keep this from turning into a book the size of War and Peace, I'll finish up tomorrow.  It was the best time I've had in ages and I learned SO much!!!  Wait until you see what I created!!

In the meantime, I'm going to Costco for pans and the hardware store for scrapers.  By the way, small wallpaper brushes make GREAT tools for pie making.  Who knew???


  1. Now that was an adventure, glad you finally made it and sounds like a fun time. We have never been really lost but do take some unplanned scenic drives sometimes. Can't wait to see what you created.

    1. It's only scenic when you're on a two lane road! lol

  2. Oh my, they have a class on Danish pancakes (Aebelskivers) on Dec 22. Ten places open!
    You need to go back for that & take pics for us. I'm still depressed since Trader Joe's discontinued their frozen ones. They were so tasty & so, so easy!

    1. Really? I guess I didn't read that far ahead. I've never had them before. Sounds like a great thing to make!

  3. In the restaurant we found the brushes from Home Depot were just as good as the brushes from the Restaurant Supply store, but at a third of the price.

    1. That's exactly what he said! He is all about being thrifty!!