mad knife skills

 |  November 15, 2007

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that a) I paint and make things b) I love to read c) I love food and everything that goes with it. Ever since I was a little girl I always enjoyed being in the kitchen. It could have been the warmth and the aromas or just the fact that making food is just another form of creating and creation. Chopping, mincing, stirring-all these things can be meditative rather than a chore. I like that when I am chopping, I am just chopping. If that makes any sense.

In my teen years I taught myself how to bake and how to make certain foods for my sick sister who had difficulty eating at the time. She loved my creations and began to eat more. So food in that sense really made me aware of it’s ability to show love. And how what we feed to our loved ones is more than just nourishment for the body.

When I had my mid-twenties life crisis and wondered what in the world I had been thinking getting the degree that I had gotten, I thought about either going back to art school or culinary school. I decided to take some courses in graphic design, which I ended up dropping out after 2 semesters as my amanobooks.com business started taking off which led to me to painting, which has led to where I am now.

But at that point I decided to keep my passion for food and cooking, just that. What I do for leisure. So, this past Tuesday evening I treated myself to a class at Dish-It-Up! to take a knife skills class from personal chef Karen Binkhorst. There were about 12 of us in the class and it was crazy! We all had a set of sharp knives + wine. Normally not a good combination. Luckily no one got hurt!

This was our menu:

Rainbow Trout Stuffed with Swiss Chard and Frissled Shallots
Boneless Game Hens with Molasses and Thyme
Frnech Cut Lamb Racks with Hazelnut Crust
Dauphine Potatoes
Rice Pilaf

The Wines served were
Falling Star-Sauvignon Blanc-Argentina-2006
Conde de Valdemar-Rioja-Spain-2001

I learned how to debone a trout! Debone a game hen! And fench cut a lamb rack! I had tried so many times to teach myself how to cut a whole chicken into parts and it was always so difficult. There would be chicken juice everywhere, I’d be sweating, hacking through bones, ruining my knives. And now, it’s so easy! I guess I just need someone to show me and then for me to do it while they are watching. Karen was a wonderful instructor. And oh my god, the food was so so good.

We weren’t able to cook the game hens or the lamb because we ran out of time. But I brought them home already prepared and cooked them last night for dinner for my husband and I. We couldn’t believe how good the lamb was.

I have so many thoughts about food and the preparation of food that I may write a few blog entries about it. I know this is an art journal, but a few entries won’t do any harm.

7 Comments

  1. by mindy on November 15, 2007  5:03 pm Reply

    I need to learn mad knife skills too ... haha... actually I need to learn to love cooking first. I am very impressed that you learned how to cut a chicken apart. A very important skill! I wish I could take the class you took.

  2. by bridgette on November 15, 2007  5:41 pm Reply

    hi mindy! I've been thinking so much about the food we ate when we were children. And how much of the culture and heritage that I received about the Philippines was through food.

  3. by Angela Rockett on November 15, 2007  6:48 pm Reply

    Are any of your handmade books cookbooks - the kind you fill out yourself? Seems like a natural combination.

  4. by Judy Wise on November 15, 2007  6:54 pm Reply

    *groan* I SO want to learn to be a better cook. Wish I could have been at the knife class too. How do you find the best things to do? I think I'm going to just follow you around for awhile.

  5. by bridgette on November 17, 2007  3:07 am Reply

    Hi angela-I've made handbound cookbooks before, but only for special commissions. One was for someone who had just graduated from culinary school.

    I feel the same way about all of your adventuring Judy! Too bad we don't live closer to each other.

  6. by hezza on November 19, 2007  1:30 am Reply

    I have two things to say:
    1st: Cooking IS art.
    2nd: Knife skills are so wonderful that I believe we get to take them to heaven.
    OK, three things...I wish I was in your neighborhood so we could cook together.

  7. by bridgette on November 20, 2007  3:22 pm Reply

    hey heather!
    yes, cooking is art.

    I wish you we coul cook together too! I still remember your chicken noodle soup with dumplings from years ago. yum!

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