Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Salud! The story of our visit with Shirley Corriher

Messy One wants to be a scientist and a chef. He also wants to be an architect / archaeologist / astronaut (architectolonaut) when he grows up. For Christmas, I asked him what he wanted and he came up with "Something with cooking. And books". Okey-dokey. Sure thing kid. That about narrows it down.

A few weeks ago I went to a book signing and lecture at the Margaret Mitchell House for Shirley Corriher's highly anticipated new book Bakewise. She and Alton Brown were at the event; Alton was acting as master of ceremonies, asking Shirley questions and keeping her on task. (That woman could EASILY talk about salt for 2 hours, and you would be FASCINATED and want to hear more.) I had a great time (sorry, no photos. DH lent me his camera... without a memory card in it and my phone takes suckky pictures) and I left with a copy of Bakewise and visions of the Tunnel of Fudge cake flitting about in my head. (You should get her book Cookwise too. Amazing!!!)

One of the women I went with tipped me off that Shirley would be giving a demo at Harry's / Whole Foods "Salud!" cooking school. Bing! Lightbulb! I reserved 2 tickets. One for me and one for the Messy One. Of course we were late getting there, but not tooo late. It hadn't started yet, but we were the last ones into the classroom which holds only about 24 people. As expected, Messy One was the youngest one there and we got the hairy eyeball from everyone when we walked in. Some credit here people! I KNOW better than to take No Thank You Boy. That would never have worked. Messy One? No problem. He was an angel: he listened politely, didn't fidget, paid attention and even took some notes! I was so proud, even when he wiped his runny nose on his shirt sleeve. (Completely understandable. We're still working on nasal manners and hygiene around here.)

The demos Shirley did were corn bread, chocolate crinkle cookies, deep dark chocolate cake, rustic pear fruit tart, chocolate ruffles (the woman is simply BRILLIANT!!!! BRILLIANT I tell you!) and a decadent chocolate ganache. Everything was amazingly good and we got to taste it all. Of course Messy One was covered in chocolate from ear to ear, but then again, most of us were and with him, food head to toe is to be expected.

The corn bread was basted with butter on the top AND bottom ("wretched excess", she called it) and served "wedding cake style". This is another BRILLIANT idea when you have to serve a round cake thing to a bunch of people and don't want to get all skimpy on the slices or wedges. How to: Cut an inner circle inside the cake about half waybetween the edge and the middle. Slice the outer ring into wedges and the inner into slices - everybody's happy, they get a nice chunk of cake and your creation isn't carved into crumbs.

We had a great time. Shirley signed our recipe packets and complimented him on his manners and his love for food and science. All in all, a great time.

Merry Christmas, Messy One.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookie Recipe
AJC Article about Book Event
AJC Article
Tunnel of Fudge Recipe
Margaret Mitchell House

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  1. Sounds like so much fun--and you got to see Alton too! Bakewise is definitely going to be going on my holiday wish list...

  2. My husband is an Alton Brown fanatic! Security would have had to be called. I'm glad ya'll had fun!

  3. Hi Lisa, I am still on vacation, but I miss you and wanted to stop by and say hello!!! I am thinking of you even if so virtually you are my friend..

  4. This sounds like so much fun! I think it is great that you took Messy One -- sounds like he enjoyed it! He gets a pat on the back from me for proving those hairy eyeball givers wrong. And Shirley's demo recipes sound outstanding!

  5. I am -so- jealous! Shirley and Alton both? And getting to eat her creations? I have the book, but can't figure out what to make first. Not to mention the fact that I don't seem to have much time lately... =)


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