Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday (Exploding Glass Edition)

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It was my girlfriend’s birthday last week. And when I say “it was my girlfriend’s birthday last week,” I literally mean it was her birthday for the entire week. It was her 30th, so understandably it was kind of a big deal. Many of her friends came in from out of town to celebrate, so it really wasn’t at all shocking that the week was jam packed with girl’s night out, margaritas, Sex and the City references, and naked pillow fights. You know, the status quo whenever a bunch of chicks get together.

Pillow Fight

Since we’ve only been dating for four months, I wanted to try to do something unique and memorable for her birthday. Given that she loves cooking (and I love eating what she cooks), I thought it would be a cool idea to sign us up for a Cooking Couples class at the local School of Culinary Arts.

NOTE: and for all the guys who just thought to themselves, “Oh snap, Tony is so pussy whipped,” all I have to say is that I’m not the one who went to go see New Moon this weekend. Just sayin.

For those who aren’t familiar, the premise is pretty self explanatory. Essentially you sign up for a class, whereupon you and three to four other couples cook your own meal under the supervision of a professional chef. It’s actually a pretty cool idea, except the only downfall is that you’re not allowed to kill your own animal beforehand. Be that as it may, I was able to let bygones be bygones, and signed is up anyways.

Cooking Couples

In looking at the class schedule a week or so prior, I was a little perplexed because the class schedule wasn’t really what I was expecting. I mean, you would think that any high class institution recognized for their culinary expertise and tradition would offer classes like:

Cooking Couples: Omletes

Cooking Couples: It’s Meat, and It’s In a Loaf. What’s Not to Love?

Cooking Couples: Lets Be Honest, I Don’t Even Know How To Pre-Set the Oven. How Bout You Just Make Me a Ham Sandwich, and We Call It a Night?

But that’s just me I guess. Nope, instead there were classes like, Cooking Couples Cook French, Cooking Couples Cook Tapas, and Cooking Couples Cook Italian. Unfortunately, most of the classes had waiting lists or just weren’t feasible due to scheduling, so I went with Cooking Couples: Twas the Night Before Christmas.

We were the first couple to arrive, and were greeted by the chef, Eliana. Elise took our names and mentioned that there were going to be a total of five couples for the class, and that we would get started once everyone arrived. In the meantime, however, she handed us our pamphlets which had all the cooking instructions of the things we were going to make.

For those interested, the menu included stuff like buttery seared scallops with a Beurre Blanc sauce and caviar with white truffle oil; as well as pan-seared roasted veal chops on a bed of creamy fennel puree with luscious Port Wine fig sauce, to name a few.

Honestly it could have said blah blah blahbiddy blah sauteed in worscestershire sauce with a bloop bleep bloopy bleep bloop creme brulee, and I would have been like “that sounds fantastic!!!”

Nevertheless, all the couples arrived, and Eliana gave everyone the option to choose what they wanted to make. Because we like to challenge ourselves, Lisa and I chose the veal chops and some sweet potato/apple thingamabob that called for like 22 gallons of heavy cream. We were given a quick tour of the kitchen, and we started cooking the shit out of our food.

To her credit, Lisa knows her way around the kitchen, and I just took orders from her. Grab the salt? Done. Stir ingredients? Gotcha. Put your shirt back on! Check. Everything was going swimmingly. We were talking with the other couples, Eliana was walking around making sure no fingers were being severed, and everyone was looking forward to a wonderful meal of whatever it was we were making.

That is, of course, until Lisa and I made a small boo-boo. While we were following the directions to a “t”, we had a minor brain-fart and placed the 8×8 pyrex dish we were using for our fennel and figs on top of the burner. Two minutes later, there was a massive noise as glass exploded all over the place. And when I say all over the place, that’s an understatement. Not only did Eliana shriek at the top of her lungs, “is everyone alright?” but glass even shot into the chocolate fondue the couple next to us were making for dessert.

Eliana was more than understanding, and while she had every right to go Full Metal Jacket on us, she didn’t. Instead she mentioned that in hindsight, the directions weren’t written that clearly. Well that, and I forgot to tell her that I couldn’t read. Opps. It’s a miracle I didn’t mistake confectioners sugar for rat poison!

In any case, while dinner was delayed an hour because we had to start over; all the other couples laughed it off, chipped in to help, and we had an awesome time nonetheless. Granted I think we may be blacklisted from ever going back, but at least we’ll have a funny story to tell during Thanksgiving dinner.

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