Thursday, August 4, 2011

Trying New Things

This week has been a busy one, full of new and interesting things.

Photography Class

Over the weekend, I took a photography class through Photo Walk-Abouts.  My awesome roommate got it for me for a "YAY, You quit your job" present.

The class I took was on Photographing people.  Something I wanted to learn more about, especially in a voyeuristic manner... I know that sounds stalkerish... but that's not what it is... I promise.   I love candids and this allows me to know what to look for.

In the class, the teacher would teach for 10-15 and then we would go off and shoot for a little bit.  We were in Bryant Park.  There are lots of interesting people in Bryant Park.  Although the class wasn't all that technical, I did find it interesting and got an opportunity to meet new people.

I noticed a theme in what i shot when i got home and saw all of my shots together.  I guess i have a thing for sleeping people...


I also visited the area in the park where people come to play chess.  There is a mash of various different characters.  A few of them enjoyed my presence so I took advantage of the hospitality and took several shots.


Cooking Class

For my birthday (In February) I was given some gift certificates, one was from some guy friends of mine who knew my love of cooking and desire to take a class.  They got me a certificate for a place called Rustico, which is an Italian cooking class.  I finally cashed in on the class.

I went by myself, which is usually a no no for me.  And if I do it again, I won't go by myself.  The class was primarily people there with friends, spouses, co-workers.  I was one of two people there by themselves.  If you don't know this about me, I don't do well with strangers. I clam up and lose all sense of conversation.  I don't like chit chat. Its annoying to me.  I'd much prefer real conversation.

Anyway, the class itself was lovely.  The teacher walked us through how to make 3-4 dishes: a pasta, main dish, and two deserts.  We were mostly her hands as the meals were created.  Once the meal was done, we sat down together to partake in one of the best meals i have ever had.

What we Made:

Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Basil & Tomato Pesto

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Fillet Mignon with caramelized Grape Tomato, Yellow Pepper & Purple Onion Salsa

Figs with Goat Cheese, Mint and honey

Fig and walnut Biscotti

The class was called "Cooking in an Italian Herb Garden".  We used fresh herbs in all of the dishes. Everything was made completely from scratch and took only 2 hours to cook all of that.

The pasta was the best I have ever had and if I could I would swear never to eat store bought pasta ever again.  But, unless someone wants to buy me a pasta machine, it ain't happen'n.

We also made fresh tomato pesto sauce for the noodles which was so light and airy.  I have never been a huge fan of pesto but this was Divine.

Even the fig deserts were heavenly.

A future project is to recreate this meal!

We had two bonuses with this class.  The original menu was for a pork dish, but because the owners didn't like the way the pork smelled, they trashed it and got Fillet Mignon instead.  They also added a fig and walnut biscotti that was not on the original menu.  It was delicious.  Biscotti is easy to make and i might even make it someday soon.

We also tried a different wine with each course.

Sorry, I only took pictures of the red, cause that's what i like!  

The class was amazing and I would do it again if I could afford it.  I would only suggest you go with a friend.  The cooking part of the class was great but the dinner portion was awkward because everyone was so into their own friends.

Knitting Night

Lastly, this week, I planned, organized and hosted a knitting night at my home.  I love to knit but I am not professional.  I thought what better way to meet knew people and to have an excuse to knit, then to invite a bunch of strangers over for a night of knitting.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures so all you have is one I took before the night as I was setting up.

There were 8 woman that came that night.  I think 5 of the 8 were new knitters. One of the girls is a professional knitter, so between the two of us, we taught the 5 how to begin a knit.

We had a great time, knitting, chatting and drinking wine.  My goal is to do this once a month, if not more.  All of the woman kept asking if we were doing this again next month.  I assured them we would.

So three events in one week that involved me meeting new people in 3 very different settings. I don't do strangers well but I survived each one and enjoyed myself in the process.  Now to take what I learned in all three of these events and do new a better things!

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