My booty from the Taste of Home Cooking School I attended last night with Aunti Miranda. Any other Springfield bloggers there? The crowd was huge. I have no idea how many people were there but it had to be well over a thousand. That room was ginormous and the event was sold out.
Michelle was our main teacher but Martha stepped in at the end to do the last recipe. Aunti and I couldn't figure out what was going on but it almost looked like Michelle was getting ill. She had some trouble speaking at the end. If so, we hope she's feeling better now!
The doors opened 3 hours prior to the class with a room full of exhibitors. We got there about 4:30pm, I almost wish we'd gotten there at 4pm on the dot, even though that would have made for an even longer night. The exhibitor room filled up with people so quickly that it was impossible to even move, let alone get near any of the exhibits. It was literally a mad crush of people. I don't know about you but all that kind of crowd does for me is make me want to run away. Aunti and I spent the last hour and a half before the show sitting in the classroom chatting. It was just too much.
Okay, we did have one little "bad". None of the food exhibits called to me except the wedding cake booth. I'm feeling slightly better, having made (and eaten, yay!) some homemade chicken noodle soup for Aunti, Gene, and I prior to going to the show. Feeling cocky about actually eating a meal for the first time in over a week, I wanted cake but the line seemed a million people line. Hey, I wait that long for nothing, not even cake. BUT. As we were walking past the booth, there just happened to be a gap around the table open up, like a gift, and I was able to reach out and snag two pieces of white cake filled with strawberry mousse. Ahhhhhhh, now that's a little slice of heaven after not eating anything but plain yogurt for a week! Will I go to hell for stealing cake out of turn? If so, it was worth the offense. You know how I am about cake. This one was baked perfectly: nice and light, very lightly golden not dark browned, and the buttercream and filling were homemade. Rock on!
The show itself was fun. Michelle was a good teacher: funny and relaxed. They presented lots of fun recipes. I hesitate to be honest here just because I don't want my food snobbery to denigrade how much I enjoyed the evening and the time with Aunti, BUT, on the other hand, if anyone reads this and bases their decision to go to one of them on it, I want them to be prepared for what the evening holds. The exhibits were fun. The presentation was fun. Being with Aunti was way fun. Was it what I consider a REAL cooking class? Not really. There were several recipes that I'm going to use but most of what was presented was based on shortcuts and convenience products. But you know what? That's okay. That's what it's meant to be and, come on, it's $15.00. And let's be real--we all take shortcuts in day to day cooking. Nothing wrong with that either. But if I want a REAL cooking lesson, to actually learn about a technique or cuisine I don't know about, then I'll spend the $100 to take a real cooking lesson from a chef through one of the local colleges' non-credit programs.
If you just want to grab your mom, your sis, your friends, and go have a great girls' night out, Taste of Home Cooking School is definitely the evening for it. You'll have a great time, get new recipes to try out, maybe even get lucky and win one of the door prizes from local purveyors or the food prepared the evening itself and the platter it was presented on. A word of advice: just in case the crowd turns out in your city like it did in ours, pee before you leave the house.
This is my monthly NICU stash knitted during August that I'll be throwing into our laundry this weekend when I work my long stretch. I love making these little baby things. They're fun and so fast I don't get bored. I knit mostly at night when I can't sleep (night shifter) and Gene's in bed so I'm trying to be quiet (and not snack all night out of boredom).
I'm going to make lots more of the little socks. They make me smile. They made my husband smile. Don't they look like the Hanes ringed basketball sock every guy I know grew up wearing? We think they're "manly man" for our little "wimpy white boys". That's an official NICU term, btw, hee hee. Those of you who work NICU know what I'm talking about! I also enjoyed making the little "hippie hat" as Gene called it on the back right. It has a floppy wavy brim and the big bright posy. I can see that on our little girlie girls.
Also, my always wonderful Auntie Miranda is helping me with this project so here are her latest endeavors. Aren't the colors incredible? So pretty! I love the lavender hat with the pink tulle poofy top. That's going to be adorable on the girls!
Notice how we both have pumpkin hats? We're trying to get a few of those together for the babies for now through Thanksgiving and then we'll have Santa, Elf, and Snowflake hats for the holidays and winter (along with regular all purpose hats). Then come spring...
Miranda and I both like rich colors and since washed out pale colors tend to make sick babies look sicker...we're mostly avoiding the cliched colors. Besides, the fun hats make everyone smile, including parents, so we're going to keep trucking in the direction we're headed.
Anyone who has fun free baby patterns they don't mind forwarding links to...you'd be greatly appreciated. I'm still looking for a nice preemie sleeper pattern with the snap legs for easy diaper changing or a nice bunting (sack) in a preemie size or either pattern than can be adjusted easily to get different small sizes.
Happy Labor Day in the US. The first Labor Day was celebrated on Monday, September 5, 1882 to celebrate the contributions of the labor force to the strength and prosperity of our country. Labor Day is believed to have been proposed by one of two men: either Peter McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters or Matthew McGuire, a machinist.
Originally, Labor Day was celebrated with large parades, patriotic speeches, and employer or labor union-provided family picnics. Now the celebration to all but the service industries is getting the day off for a long weekend to celebrate however you wish.
In reality, Labor Day is often the last chance to go the lake, to the amusement park, or simply to stay at home in the back yard with family and friends, and let's be honest here, Labor Day is mostly about burning a few burgers on the grill while downing a case of beer.