Friday, October 22, 2010
Hands on Dumplings
We are so lucky in Atlanta to have so many options of where to shop for our food. While I am a big proponent of supporting my local farmers, there are times when you need kaffir lime leaves or turmeric or some other foreign ingredient, without which your curry or tom yum gai would fall flat. I love the cut-rate prices of Super H and Great Wall, but for more extensive selection, especially with Latin and South American flavors, you can't beat the Buford Highway Farmers Market. If you haven't been recently, this is not the run down place you remember. They have put a lot of money into upgrading the store and making it a much more appealing place to shop. But don't worry, they still sell those little corn things with the custard filling, yum!
Along the lines of expanding their customer base, the market is now offering a range of cooking classes. They are moderately priced, $20, plus they give you a $10 gift card for the market at the end of the class. Recently, my friend Todd and I decided to go to a Chinese Southern Belle class on making dumplings.
We had such a good time! Natalie and her mother, Margaret, gave a good general overview of Chinese cuisine and even whipped up a quick veggie stir-fry to tide us over until it was dumpling time.Then we got to the good part, we learned how to make a variety of dumplings hands. I have to admit, I am not much for rules and love to improvise in the kitchen, so my dumplings were a little out of the box, but despite their unusual form, they held together well during boiling and tasted amazing. One of the best things about the class is that you sit at communal tables and all work together and offer suggestions like how to get the best seal, or what to mix together to make the best dipping sauce. The other best part is getting to eat the product of your labor, I'm fairly sure Todd ate 30 or more, although he claims he kept it under 2 dozen.
I think these classes would make an excellent setting for a fun weeknight date night, or even better for a blind date. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone and look forward to going back and taking more classes soon. For more info on upcoming classes, you can look here.