Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, July 31- Wrapping up the week at Casa Diana Kennedy's

As we walked down the path from Diana's house for the last time we were all a little sad it was over. Everyone had mellowed towards her sharp tongue and instead concentrated on the information she so freely shared about her beloved Mexican cuisine.  As for myself, I secretly had a few laughs because Diana hasn't changed one bit since the first class I took from her in 1976 in Chicago.  She wants things done her way, following the recipes she has researched and tested in her books to the letter.  A few revisions were made to fit ingredients available in the her books but here we used the local ingredients, herbs, chiles, produce and dairy that have been used for decades.  Diana is trying to save these recipes from fast food oblivion. This is what I came here for.  The thrill of using her collection of cazuelas and ollas was beyond belief to me.  One really needs to leave their ego checked at the border to enjoy a trip like this.  I am sure everyone felt the same way.
Cindy closes the gate to Casa Diana

Diana Kennedy, center with our class, July 1992
 Back at San Cayetano, Mary collected tuition for the classes. She, Diana and I figured out the payments with Cindy and Paula paying for the extra half day when we return to San Francisco. I told Diana that the cheeses, cocoa and dates were a gift from "Taste Catering", who I worked for as their Director of Culinary Operations ( basically head Chef).  She was thrilled and promised to write a note and send down a revised "The Tortilla Book" for me to take back.
In the morning we were all packed and ready to leave this retreat.  Breakfast is Chilaquiles, the wonderful rolls and plates of papaya. I am not shy about eating breakfast anymore and savor the green peach marmalade one last time.  I can't possible carry anything else or I would take a jar each of it and the blackberry preserves.  Diana told me she has a recipe similar to the green peach marmalade in her " Nothing Fancy" cookbook.  I can't wait to look it up.
She joins us and as promised gives me the paperback copy of "The Tortilla Book" and a note to Taste Catering thanking them for the goodies.  Everything seems fine with she and Andre.  We are settling the bill with him which, of course, was complicated. He had me mixed up with Cindy the entire week, charging my food and drinks to her and vice versa. This was a riot to us as I guess all blondes look alike in Mexico.  We straightened it out with alot of  French Vietnamese-Spanish chatter from Andre .  Our bus arrived and off we went to Mexico City, crammed into the bus for a three hour non-stop whirlwind trip.

Whew! My trip down memory lane is over, at least for this adventure...
Here are some odds and ends of photos that I thought were fun.
Mary Risley
I love this picture of Diana showing us an old corn cob "scraper"

Diana's backyard " Panaderia"-built to emulate wood fired ovens in bakeries.
I wish we could have fired them up for bolillos and other bready things.

Adjacent to the adobe wood fired ovens, a clay comal for tortillas
These were built for classes and magazine shoots although I have never seen any of the articles.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing all the memories! It was fun reading each and every blog.