Tuesday, June 15, 2010

an afternoon with Evan Kleiman ?!?!

just last week i had a private canning class with culinary "mera mera" Chef Evan Kleiman of Angeli Caffe but you also might know her for her popular show on KCRW Good Food. this class, with Harriet from the show (who i met a few months back) was going to take place in my home on what i hoped would be a not too hot of a day (Summer's are brutal in the apartment homestead!)
i have to admit, i was a little nervous at first about how the class was going to turn out-what do i say, "Evan: cut this, prep that, now wash dishes???..." -i should be doing that! all of this in my shoebox apartment, where the occasional sound of the tire shop next door or lord knows what else would be filtering in.

the first time i met Evan was at a lecture and signing for Alice Water's book on the Edible Garden in Santa Monica. both Ernie and i braved the traffic and crowds for a chance to talk to both Alice and Evan and perhaps give them a jar of loquat goodness.  we were able to say a short hello but both were among a huge crowd of people (of course!!!) so it's not like we shared tales of canning adventures and our favorite restaurants.
but this was different.
Evan and Harriet met me and Courtney (of C-Salt fame, who was is a HUGE fan of Evan's) at the store where we took the short walk to our home.  i proudly showed both ladies my finished root cellar, packed with boozes and dried chilies from New Mexico and my little veggie garden and for the next 3 hours we made jam, jelly and pickles.

(peach-habanero jam bubbling)

(Evan fills the jars with hot basil jelly)

(the afternoon breeze felt great while cooking)

i can't tell you how much fun this class was-it was more like a vacation!  with the faint sound of Loretta Lynn in the background, we talked of food, relationships, pies, jokes, travels, the 127 yard sale and our own personal stories and drank cocktails made from the kumquat vodka from the root cellar. the afternoon reminded me of what food preservation is all about-connecting with people and the world around you- we ended our class with hugs and singing Joni Mitchell songs. our class has turned into new friends!
and more...Evan and I talked about a few ideas and i will be posting them soon!!


Eddie Lin said...

really cool! she ended up joining me for the exact opposite of your peaceful, gentle day and entered the testosterone, alcohol and briquettes driven world of competitive BBQing!

i could sense that Evan and Harriet wanted to return to your tranquil oasis.

delilah said...

it was awesome-we were curling up on the couch having a blast, it was more like ladies night than a class!

PS: i totally want to go to that event next year!