Back in March, I got a coupon from my favorite website, Bradsdeals.com for two people to take a cooking class from Le Cordon Bleu for the price of one. They offered a wide range of classes on all sorts of cooking. I finally settled on the “Cookies and Confections” class because the date worked well and I have a sugar addiction.
The closest Cordon Bleu to me is in St. Louis. So I took a friend and my mom up to St. Louis for a weekend just to take a cooking class. I thought it was something different to do and they give you food, so it’s a win-win really.
My family owned a restaurant for many years. Going into this cooking class I thought I had a competitive advantage over the other students (because everything I do is a competition or it isn’t fun). Boy, was I wrong.
They give you one of those really tall chef hats and a black Le Cordon Bleu apron (that you get to take home with you and wear while making toast). Things started rough for me. For the life of me I could not get my apron neck strap to stay hooked. So I continuously bugged my friend to help me out.
“Kim, can you fix this for me?” I asked. This was the 10th time I asked her.
“Again???????????????????????????????” she snarled.
Yes, I am a dipshit.
Our chef was Karen and she said if we put a picture of her on Facebook she would stab us with a meat thermometer. Okey dokey. Karen brought in three of her students to help us out. We made marshmallows, graham crackers (we had smores…they didn’t trust us to make the chocolate for some reason), these meringue things with filling, peanut brittle and spiced oatmeal raisin cookies.
Karen would demonstrate as we gathered around her and then we would go back to our stations to give it a whirl on our own. It became clear immediately I needed a full-time supervisor. I was not paying attention to the labels on my tray that said MARSHMALLOWS and took the baking soda for the COOKIES and used it as gelatin for the marshmallows. Oops.
Then while making the peanut brittle, I did some fancy Gordon Ramsey move and flicked the whisk with hot sticky sugar and a glob of it landed on my hand. So off I go to First Aid. Take a look.
Hmmmm the photo kind of looks like an arm pit now, making this a far more serious injury from the looks of the arm pit blister. Saggy arm pit blister. Sorry, I promise that is my hand. Let’s move on, shall we?
This injury pretty much wiped me out for the rest of the trip. I couldn’t drive or write or really do much of anything. I had to have someone else feed me because holding a fork was far too painful. Gordon Ramsey is a jerk. Just look at what he has done to me.
It was a fun class. It is something I would gladly do again. The issue I had is we made things that any Grandma can make. Oatmeal Raisin cookies…peanut brittle? I wanted to make some fancy cookies. If I was going to lose the use of my hand forever, I needed something impressive, damn it. Something like this…
Instead of boring peanut brittle…I wanted to make some fancy candy. Like this crystal meth candy. That is crystal meth inside there, isn’t it? I don’t know much about drugs, but meth makes a very pretty piece of candy.
Kim and I returned to the hotel with stacks of food in our arms. My mom was thrilled and especially loved the Grandma cookies. She insisted I take some down to the front desk clerk. My mom thinks this is still the 50’s or something. The clerk thought I was trying to poison her and I heard them make a loud thump in the trash can as I walked away.
On our way out-of-town, Mom wanted to stop at this restaurant she had heard about called The Blue Owl. The food was wonderful and their bake shop was just amazing. Our waitress Hannah was a sweetheart and even went to get the owner to come speak to us. Mary has a story very similar to Paula Deen’s in that her husband moved her to Missouri from Galveston, Texas and then left her. Mary started making desserts to pay the bills and eventually that turned into owning The Blue Owl. Paula Deen and her two sons recently visited and The Blue Owl will be featured in Oprah magazine. So, if you are ever near St. Louis go by and check this place out. Mary is mainly famous for her Caramel Pecan Levee High Apple Pie. Have you ever seen such a thing???
Back at home I decided to look online to see which class I wanted to take next. I am thinking “French Classics” on October 20th. Who’s with me???? Just make sure you work in another station in case I get wild and crazy again. At the very least, I will entertain you with my lack of kitchen skills in those three hours. It might just be worth the price of admission.