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Cooking Connections in Austin

Date: March 11, 2015 - categories: - Leave your thoughts

No doubt about it: our Umbrian feasts forms links as all unite to create those buonissimo flavors – and then share them. And there were a lot of links at Rachel’s Austin class, new ones and old ones rejuvenated.
I met our host Rachel years ago walking the footpaths at the Cinque Terre with my Roman friend Silvana. We reunited over the burners at a Houston cooking class a few years ago – and a photo of that event is on my website. Rachel’s on my right in the photo where I am chopping squash (in a blue shirt).
I’m grateful for your note to me and all your work in bringing me to Austin – for three events, Rachel!

Such a treat to watch a feast come together. Thank you! See you next year.” Rachel
…and a treat to see, you again, too!

Our host Rachel flanked by friend Susan in the kitchen

Our host Rachel flanked by friend Susan in the kitchen

Rachel teams with Debbie on our Umbrian peppers dish

Rachel teams with Debbie on our Umbrian peppers dish

Rachel gives those peppers a stir

Rachel gives those peppers a stir

 

And Debbie, glad we re-connected in Austin, after first meeting in Umbria, when you took in Assisi’s wondrous May festival, Calendimaggio. And I’d love to return to Austin in 2016, cooking in your home, as mentioned in your kind note to me:
So happy to have found you in Assisi – and now in Austin. Hope to see you in my kitchen next year!” Debbie

 

And what a joy to connect while cooking with such a delightful group.
Annie, your words mean much to me: “…you reflect all that I love about that beautiful country: passion, joy, love of country and fellow countrymen. Your food was lovely and delicious. Hope to join you again.”

Annie and Bess comnect at the cutting boards

Annie and Bess comnect at the cutting boards

 

Jan, I was so touched to hear that you chose to celebrate your birthday joining in our cooking evening: “Thank you for a delightful evening. What a treat… to enjoy your Italian class and delicious food on my birthday!” And here’s Jan:

Jan adds basil to our Sicilian eggplant dish

Jan adds basil to our Sicilian eggplant dish

 

Jan adds more white wine vinegar to our Sicilian bean dish as Susan mixes

Jan adds more white wine vinegar to our Sicilian bean dish as Susan mixes

Birthday girl, Jan, dices up the basil for our eggplant dish

Birthday girl, Jan, dices up the basil for our eggplant dish

 

Rebecca, great cook in your own right, I’m grateful for your words of appreciation: “What a pleasure to see all the fresh basic ingredients combined perfectly to make delicious food. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and talents with us.”

Rebecca oversees the simmering eggplant

Rebecca oversees the simmering eggplant

 

Rebecca and Debbie, cooking pair

Rebecca and Debbie, cooking pair

Rebecca and Pete join hands on the peppers dish

Rebecca and Pete join hands on the peppers dish 

Tommie, delighted to hear that our Umbrian bell peppers dish won you over:
I hate green pepper but I found myself eating pounds of your green peppers and tomatoes. Thank you so much for opening my eyes.”

Bell peppers star in the Umbrian favorite, la bandiera

Bell peppers star in the Umbrian favorite, la bandiera

 

Peppers, the Umbrian way….in the making

Peppers, the Umbrian way….in the making

Ah, la bandiera

Ah, la bandiera

 

And do meet some or Rachel’s other guests…
Here’s Pat:

Pat and Susan chop as Debbie clicks away

Pat and Susan chop as Debbie clicks away

Robin, Pat and Jan in the kitchen, teamed to cook

Robin, Pat and Jan in the kitchen, teamed to cook

More olive oil, Pat, in the green beans!

More olive oil, Pat, in the green beans!

 

“What a wonderful evening of absolutely fabulous food and conversation. Mille grazie.” Pat

Meet Susan:

“Thank you for your perspective on Italy.” Susan

Susan and Sue Ann decide on more milk in our asparagus pasta sauce

Susan and Sue Ann decide on more milk in our asparagus pasta sauce

Susan on the garlic dicing

Susan on the garlic dicing

Susan, Jan and Pat on the green beans and potatoes

Susan, Jan and Pat on the green beans and potatoes

 

Pete bravely joined in – as the only man in this group – along with his wife, Bess.
Do meet them both:

We’re now on your fan list – and we loved the discussion of lifestyles – can’t wait to see you lecture on Italian hand signs!” Pete and Bess

Good times cooking for Pete and Debbie

Good times cooking for Pete and Debbie

Bess decides hands needed to mix our Sicilian bean dish

Bess decides hands needed to mix our Sicilian bean dish

Bess works on our salad

Bess works on our salad

 

Thanks to all for a “united front” of support at the critical moment of the frittata flipping!

Bread crumbs and Parmesan now added

Bread crumbs and Parmesan now added

Leek frittata browning on one side

Leek frittata browning on one side

Leeks simmer for our frittata

Leeks simmer for our frittata

Looks as if we are ready to flip it

Looks as if we are ready to flip it

Flipping the frittata - and hoping it doesn’t stick!

Flipping the frittata – and hoping it doesn’t stick!

Mamma mia, we did it!

Mamma mia, we did it!

Sue Ann proudly shows off one of our frigate

Sue Ann proudly shows off one of our frigate

With Sue Ann, ready to serve our frittata

With Sue Ann, ready to serve our frittata

 

And I cannot wrap up this blog note without thanking you, Rebecca D., for opening your lovely home to this cooking group – even though you were too sick to join us! You were an integral part of my first U.S. tour in 1998, centering on a lecture about the 1997 earthquake in Umbria, putting together four events (in Texas, in Chicago)…f or five?

Mille grazie for opening your home – and heart – to us all. Sorry to miss you at the class but… do hope you enjoyed all the leftovers!

P.S. Here are a few more of my photos of our good times:

A favorite dish - Siclian green beans with potatoes

A favorite dish – Siclian green beans with potatoes

 

Robin handles the fruit dicing

Robin handles the fruit dicing

A favorite dish - Siclian green beans with potatoes

A favorite dish – Siclian green beans with potatoes

Sue Ann, good job on those eggplants

Sue Ann, good job on those eggplants

 

Thanks to Debbie, too, for her photos:
 

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