Friday, February 1, 2008

Dig Into A Winter Feast

Express Staff Writer

With mouths watering and noses twitching, Fred Wagner and Julie Holmquist await as private chef Cortney Burns prepares to ladle out balsamic braised lamb shanks prepared for a Sawtooth Botanical Garden cooking class called A Winter Feast. Photo by Dana DuGan

With snow piling up all over the valley, one looks for the savory, the warm and the comfortable in our foods.

Helping achieve those homey goals, the Sawtooth Botanical Garden held its first Winter Feast cooking class, on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Private chef Cortney Burns created a locavore feast of balsamic braised lamb shanks, kabocha sqaush soup, and white-wine-poached pears for a class of 15 in the garden's kitchen. The class was also treated to wine of the Ketchum label Frenchman's Gulch. Burns, who had never taught a cooking class before, is a natural. "Recipes are to be played with," she said. Some other "bon mots" offered concerned baking squash in the oven: "If you touch it and you burn your hand you're good to go," "Squash and sage love each other" and "The tip of your knife is your friend."

The Botanical Garden will offer more adult classes this month.

On Sunday, Feb. 10 there will be Orchids for Black Thumbs—A Valentine Primer, with SBG Executive Director Jennifer Colson and Webb Nursery. This enlightening workshop will unveil the mystique of the most varied member of the flowering plant family, the orchid. The cost is $10 for members, and $15 for non-members. To register call the Botanical Garden at 726-9358.

To celebrate the finale of the Winter Feast for the Soul at Light on the Mountain Spiritual Center, next door, the Botanical Garden will lend its kitchen to "Dancing with Spirit in the Kitchen." To be held Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. a Middle Eastern meal will be prepared by Chef Mirabai Chrin. The fee for this class is $75. Reservations are required through Valerie Skonie at 788-6373.

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