Beans and beans and beans...

So I never want to eat another bean ever again... Yesterday began with a bean demonstration. Chef Richard cooked tons and tons of different kinds of beans for about three hours, and then the class prepped vegetables and various sauces to turn them into something a little yummier so that we could taste them. I didn't really think this would be an issue. I mean, we're just TASTING each one! No problem...

We had black soybeans in a bean salad with radish and cilantro, red lentils cooked in a soup with carrots and celery and spinach, hummos, and a stew of aduki beans and butternut squash. My stomach felt like it was going to explode! Never trap anything in your stomach like that all together... I thought an intestine was going to pop. The body is just not meant to eat all of one thing in a sitting like that.

We spent the afternoon in a lecture about the chemical make-up of fats and oils. We talked about fatty acids, diagrammed them, and then talked about how things like trans fats are created and why they are harmful, etc. It was super science-geared, which was an interesting change. Of course, they attacked yet another staple of my refrigerator: Earth Balance. Sadly, this apparently has too much salt, is too high in Omega 6, and is too processed. ::Sigh:: Can't get anything right...

Today we had our bean practicum. We all had to make everything we saw made yesterday with different beans. Here is an overview of what my group made today: I had to make the soup (the exact same as he had made it with red lentils)... which half the class thought was delicious and the other half thought was too salty. Can't please everyone! Nicki made bean salad but with black eyed peas and reconstituted sundried tomatoes. Aviva made large lima bean and butternut squash stew seasoned with ginger and kombu. Melinda made cannellini bean dip with garlic and lemon.

The highlight of the whole group was a kidney bean dip with balsamic vinegar and cilantro though. It was SO good. No one actually wanted to eat beans... so you could tell this dip was amazing because it was completely gone within just a few minutes of being set out for tasting.

Each day that we have practicum, everyone has to set out there dishes by a certain time for a taste and critique. The instructor walks from dish to dish tasting and explaining what is delicious and what could be fixed about each one. And then the class tastes it and comments also. It's an interesting experience.... people can sometimes get a little over critical in the seat of power like that. The class is always more nit-picky than the instructor.

Anyway, I head home to Maine for the weekend tonight, so you all will not hear from me until next week. I'm taking a plane at 8:40 from LaGuardia. It's Lizzie graduation on Sunday night, so the weekend is filled with graduation festivities! I'm excited!!