April 28, 2010

Petit Peche

I've been working on different posts for days now, but always come back and feel dissatisfied. And then I delete them.
Life is sweet, sort of beyond words right now. Not for any particular reason; a million reasons.
I don't really know how to describe the joie de vivre I'm experiencing. Simple things: good friends, good food, and good weather. And good coffee--with me coffee is in a class by itself.
A couple of weeks ago my friend Kristin invited me to join her for a cooking class called Petit Peche she purchased through Living Social (amazing online/email coupons for local businesses). We made our way to the instructor Danika's house. The house was tucked away in a sort of shady East Austin neighborhood, so initially we had our doubts. But when we saw the house -- and walked in -- our doubts vanished.
It was a charming house that was a rennovated A-frame church to which they'd added a second story. The antique double doors welcomed us into a great room with creaking wood floors and warm lighting. Looking to the back of the house, we saw a group of people gathered around a large island.
We made our way into the kitchen and joined the group, as Danika set to cooking and teaching.
The menu

The lovely Danika

Olive oil tasting, goat cheese, and fig compote


The lamb (I assisted in the seasoning and tying!)


The deliciously scrumptious spread

Roasted lamb with croutons, Ratatouille, Baguettes, and Cauliflower Puree


The Pots de Creme. Oh my. Oh. my.

This meal was very simple. But watching Danika cook was inspiring to me. And then I tasted the food...and I think my life was forever changed at that moment.
Plus, I don't think I've ever eaten Goat Cheese before. It is so good. 
She reduced a mixture of balsamic vinegar, honey, and figs to make the "Fig Compote" which we spread over toasted baguettes with goat cheese. It was to die for. 
And the Pots de Creme? With sea salt and lavender?  
Truly a work of art. 
Danika spoke about the pleasures of good food and wine, and about the villa in Provence where she takes her cooking students for "food tours," and the house in Paris where they stay while they wander around together visiting markets, vinyards, and patisseries.  
She has me completely convinced that France is really as romantic as the picture in my mind. And that everything sounds better in French.
Just bear with me. I know I'm silly.

I'm sighing as I think, perhaps someday I'll be able to sip coffee in a cafe in Paris. Or better, Provence. For now, I'll just dream.

1 comment:

  1. So you can cook me some nice French food when I come to visit?