Each month has its own abundance and focus in the rhythm of our lives. The following menus are suggestions based on predicted availability of fresh ingredients and cultural considerations. However, we are limited only by our combined imaginations, so please present your desires and ideas.
January - Tapas y Vinos
Whether it is from a pathside wooden table at a country pension, or from one of the zillion wrought iron tables ringing the plaza in Madrid, the parade of tapas and vinos insists on your attention and approval. Long, lazy afternoons are interrupted only by the punctuation of the next suggestion made by cook or waiter. Originally, a tapa was a small piece of meat or bread balanced atop a bottle of wine as the waiter made his way to table. Today, the modest appetizer has evolved into an array of outrageously prepared and presented morsels.
February - Your Hearts' Desire
Rediscover why you chose your lover. Flirt, speak in private tones, throw your head back, and laugh out loud over candleflame and bud vase. You may choose to participate in the preparation of your meal in a tutorial setting or to be served from first aperitif to final coffee in the private, fireside dining lounge adjoining your bedroom. Trundle off to bed in the quiet Rocky Mountain night. Enjoy this offering with St. Valentine 's blessing or on any other special day.
March - Mardi Gras Beads and Confetti
Linger over the earthy tasties from bayou country. Adapt authentic creole cuisine to your taste and kitchen. As the nose-tickling aromas and sensual spices unfold their gifts, you will discover why they call it the Big Easy.
April - Cocina Oaxaca
Embark on a gastronomical journey through the southern regions of Mexico, where the pottery is black and chocolate beans are spent like money. You may request conversational Spanish lessons with your class from your bilingual chef to help you in your next visit to Latin America.
May - The Comfort Kitchen
Flinging peas at my brother. Making mashed potato faces at my cousins. Seeing who could get my sister to sneeze milk with a good joke. It all happened on this side of the swinging kitchen door. I was sad to graduate to the adult table on the other side, but still long for the comfort those foods carry with them.
June - Pasta. Pesto. Presto!
Pick basil from our summer gardens to mash with the garlic from our winter gardens. Pull down the pasta you made earlier off the drying rack and celebrate the convergence of two seasonal solstices.
July - The All-American Grill
Step up to the grill! Hot coals in the warm summer create quick-time meals to leave you more hours for lazy pleasures. Drifting wisps of smoke evoke memories of the hearth long after the embers die.
August - Party-hounds Celebrate
Needing no reason to celebrate, hearty party-goers will gather and revel in your hospitality anytime. Useful tips are offered for planning easy evenings with snazzy touches that leave you with your friends instead of at the stove.
(Price-per-person varies with menu selection, ranging from hot hors d'oeuvres to buffet to full sit-down dinners.)
September - The Everyday Zen Practice of Kitchen
Gathering wisdom from Dogan's "Instructions to the Cook," we will begin with the practice of clearing and searching for left-by ingredients. Mindfully selecting excellent foods and treating them well creates comforting rhythm and abiding joy. Awaken to the daily grind of spices and the everyday necessity for preparation. Revel in the abundance of choice and the final step of sharing at table. Then start again.
October - Abundant Autumnal Harvest
Sunset colors of butternut-yellow, pumpkin-orange, and candy apple-red festoon the foods that spill from fall's cornucopia. Uncover the complex combination of flavors and textures of autumn.
November - Wintry Soup Kettles and Rustic Loaves
Soups to warm the heart and hearth, and bread to break with friends. Bracing against the chill, you cup your hands around an oversized mug so that not one degree of warmth and comfort is wasted.
December - Festive Holiday Bakery and Non-perishable Food Gifts
Spend an afternoon designing your own holiday gifts. For example, make a French market nine-bean soup mix. Create an attractive presentation in a mason jar with personal ties. Choose your story and recipe combination. Trundle home with a dozen gifts, ready for giving. (Offered to groups of 6 or more friends. Can be combined with overnight stay.)
Pilón (extra, surprise offering) Sachets, dream pillows, and potpourris
Circle the table with several dozen mugs of herbs, flowers, spices, and fixatives. Read the description of each, including botanical and popular names, medicinal qualities, and poetic remembrance. Mix your own fragrance potion to nestle in a fabric that speaks to you and secure your craft with ribbon. Create lots of combinations as gifts for your friends and your many selves. (Offered to groups of 6 or more friends, lunch included. Can be combined with overnight stay.)
Any month, any time - Yikes! Where do I start?
Now that you have discovered that your condo has a kitchen, let's investigate how to use it. From market to counter to stove to table. This first-step class will demystify that perfect cooked egg whose shell slides off, that fluffy baked potato, that favorite pasta dish. We will design your course based on what you already know and where you want to go.
The Savory Palette
© 2006 by Deborah DeBord. All Rights Reserved.