Orlando

Leu Leu Lemons: A Cooking Class Story

Happy Sunday to all my friends, family, fellow bloggers, and random strangers that have stumbled upon this little blog o’ mine.  I hope you are having the most fabulous of weekends filled with all the things that spark non-Marie Kondo joy.  Or if Marie Kondo joy is your jam I hope you are filled with sparks and uber-organized sock drawers…

Can I let you in on a couple of little secrets when it comes to my blog?  Two of my favorite things to do is to come up with punny post titles and “pithy” sayings to accompany my photos.  I am a huge fan of wordplay and making Momica groan.

Speaking of pith-y, I took another cooking class at Leu Gardens with the star of the show being…wait for it…lemons!  <—see what I did there?  I’m kind of proud of myself which might be reading a tad bit obnoxious.  I’ll try to rein it in…

Lemons
I took a couple of these beauties home with me – Future Vinaigrettes of America!

The class was led by Chef Jennifer Hostetter a local chef and caterer that I met last year when I took a cheese making class at Leu Gardens.  Chef Jennifer’s teaching style is engaging, informative, and inclusive.  She encourages everyone to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the cooking process (after washing hands, of course!)  And she answers soooooo many questions!

Idea Garden Entrance
This adorable spot is the location for the cooking class.  The fresh scent of lemons and decadent butter greeted me upon entry.  Why doesn’t Febreze have a Lemon Shortbread scent????

Upon entering the class, we were warmly greeted and instructed to grab a beverage and a seat around the demonstration area.  Lemon shortbread cookies were in their final crisping stages in the oven teasing us with their scent of citrus and butter.

Drinks
Non-alcoholic beverages were supplied for the class.
Wine with the Class
You can also BYOB.  I brought my Friday night wine leftovers with me.  Please note that I did bring a lemon-colored plastic wine glass with me.

Chef Jennifer overviewed the “menu” for the class featuring a mix of savory and sweet items – lemon scones, chicken skewers with lemon salsa, and a roasted carrot and walnut salad with citrus vinaigrette.  As she described our “syllabus,” she deftly passed around the still warm from the oven shortbread.  She’s a Lemon Temptress!

Lemon Shortbread
Lemony, not overly sweet shortbread that was crisp but not even remotely tough.  More than once I heard, “Where is the shortbread?” from classmates.

I took copious notes during the class (with wine!!).  Here are just a few of my key learnings:

  1. Lemons are in season.
  2. Meyer lemons are more aromatic, sweeter than the typical fruit, and a hybrid of lemon and tangerine (a citrus “mash-up” if you will.) Their skin has more of an orange tinge to it.
  3. You can zest a lemon and then juice it. But don’t flip it and reverse it.  Then you are just doing it wrong.
  4. You can freeze every part of the lemon – zest, juice, and segments.
  5. Slicing segments of citrus like a culinary boss is called “supreme-ing.”  I’ve seen it done on Top Chef and it made me scratch my head.  Chef Jennifer made it approachable.  I should have videoed it.  My apologies.
  6. I think candied lemon peel tastes like “candied summer” and want to make my own.  Soon.

More highlights from the class…

Side note – my Mom started booking me for “highlights” when I was 15 because I kept trying to “blonde” my hair by soaking my strands in lemon juice followed by baking in the sun.  Another lemon story, so there you go…

Supreme 2
Chef Jennifer “supreme-ing” lemons.
Scones Going Down
Adding candied lemon peel to scones is a gift of epic citrus proportions.
Lemon Scones
Golden, flaky, and tender…a scone that will be in my memory for quite some time.  See that little scone nubbin’ to the right of the pan?  I wish I had that to crumble into my morning yogurt.
Roasted Carrot Salad
Have you ever had a roasted carrot salad?  No?!  You should.  It’s d@mn good.  Add some lemon vinaigrette to the salad, and you just might swoon.  Call me or @ me if you try one!

Thinking about yesterday’s class is bringing a smile to my face.  There was fun, positive energy in the room – everyone got involved by asking questions or taking turns in the cooking and prep process, or just leaning over to talk to each other.  I hope I get to see all of the wonderful people I met yesterday during the March 16th “Cooking with Herbs” class!  And I hope you are ready for all of my questions, Chef Jennifer!!!

Leaving 2
See you soon, Leu Gardens!  Thanks for having me!

 

Are you into puns?  Are you into lemons?  What type of cooking class or demonstration would you like to take?  Let me know in the comments below!

Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Drink Chard.

Laurie

P.S.  This is not a sponsored post.  However, I wish Leu Gardens would make me an honorary family member.

P.P.S. One of my Chief Relaxation Officers wanted to say “woof” to everyone!

CRO

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