1 The Price is Right & Valentine's Day Brunch

Yay for checking off two more ticketed events for Project Thirteen! 

First, Tod and I attended the Price is Right Live last week, and although the price wasn't exactly right for us, the whole experience was pretty much hilarious. 

From the price tag name tags . . . 

To the screaming crowd, which included a bunch of rowdy, drunk ladies armed with New Year's Eve horns and noisemakers, who were (naturally) seated directly in front of us.

Although we weren't called to "come on down," the sweet and very friendly black lady seated right next to Tod was. (We bonded over eye rolls aimed at the rowdy, drunk ladies with horns.) Marietta was her name--a name I'll not soon forget. Because when that name sounded over the screaming crowd, that little lady started shaking and rocking back and forth, the spotlight headed our way, and then her eyes sort of rolled back in her head. I know I exaggerate sometimes, but I promise I'm not exaggerating right now. I thought she was having a stroke. I thought about CPR. Fifteen compressions to one? Thirty to two? I was not prepared. (What happened to all those years of lifeguarding skills?) So I guess it was a good thing when the little lady's eyes rolled back to the front of her face. The host cracked a few jokes because that's what game show hosts do. And then Marietta slowly recovered; her friend helped her out of her seat, and she walked--totally stupefied--down to Contestant's Row. Her bid on an electric guitar was too high so she didn't make it to the stage, but she did return to her seat a little while later with a Price is Right Live t-shirt and a smile larger than the Price is Right Wheel. I'm pretty sure her year (her decade?) was made. It was priceless. (Totally lame play on words, I know.) 

Oh, and my other favorite part--they showed a reel of bloopers from the TV show, mainly from the Bob Barker days--clips of people falling down as they tried to spin the wheel. And for whatever reason, that's really funny. (Why do people think it's so funny when other people fall down? It makes no sense if you think about it. Unless we're all just terrible people. But regardless, check Youtube if you're in need of a laugh because I'm sure you can find some of these clips and they're funny. I promise.)  

Okay, so I told you we checked off two ticketed events. The next one: thanks to a very thoughtful Christmas present from Tod's sister, we attended a "Valentine's Day Brunch" cooking class this morning at Charleston Cooks. 
The menu:
-yogurt and caramelized fig parfaits;
-baked eggs with tomatoes, herbs, and cream;
-buttermilk biscuits with red berry compote;
-red velvet pancakes with cream cheese drizzle;
-pancetta, sweet potato, and pecan hash; and last (but definitely not least)
-kir royale champagne cocktails (with rasberries and orange zest).

The facilities at Charleston Cooks are great.

When it came time to separate and head to stations, Tod and I played the "which-one-do-you-want-to-do?-I-don't-know-which-one-do-you-want-to-do?" game for a good thirty seconds. Not totally surprising for us, but since he's the better cook of the two of us, at least most of the time, I wanted to make sure we headed to his station of choice. Alas, our "which-one-do-you-want-to-do?" game probably cost us any choice we may have had because we ended up manning the station nearest to where we stood: the parfait station. Of course I loved it because it gave me the opportunity to make lots of Shrek jokes.

If you have no clue what I'm talking about then (1) you need to go watch Shrek and (2) listen for this discussion between Shrek and Donkey:

Shrek: For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think.
Donkey: Example?
Shrek: Example... uh... ogres are like onions!
[holds up an onion, which Donkey sniffs]
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes... No!
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry?
Shrek: No!
Donkey: Oh, you leave 'em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs...
Shrek: [peels an onion] NO! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
[walks off]
Donkey: Oh, you both have LAYERS. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!
Shrek: I don't care what everyone else likes! Ogres are not like cakes.
Donkey: You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, "Let's get some parfait," they say, "Hell no, I don't like no parfait"? Parfaits are delicious!
Shrek: NO! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story! Bye-bye! See ya later.
Donkey: Parfait's gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet! 

So yeah, I made way too many Shrek jokes that no one else understood except Tod. Again, not totally surprising for us.

Another thing about parfaits: they were quite possibly my most favorite dessert as a child. I'd ask mom to make them for big meals, only I didn't have the word quite right (not totally surprising either), and so I called them par-shays. Although I like to think I would have spelled it "parchets."  Come on, I was probably six. So anyway, in my family, we still call them par-shays. Because that's what happens when you make up a word as a kid. It never goes away. 

Now that I think about it, mom, how did I even know about something like a parfait as a kid? Maybe from the Pink Turtle at the Beverly Wilshire? (My dad worked in LA for a few years when I was little.) Who knows. But the bottom line is that I pretty much felt destined to land at the parfait station, regardless of our "which-one-do-you-want-to-do?" game. And I'll tell you what: armed with new knife skills from our wonderful teacher, Michelle, Tod chopped the hell out of those figs. 

Here's the recipe: 


2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
8 ounces fresh figs, chopped
2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt (we used regular vanilla today; Tod and I think Greek vanilla would be even better)
pinch of ground cinnamon (we used a lot of cinnamon, which I love, but you could use less)
1 cup granola or roughly chopped nuts


Place warm honey in a medium skillet. Turn heat to low and allow honey to warm. When honey is warm, place chopped figs in the pin and cook, stirring once or twice, until they have caramelized, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and cinnamon.

Place a spoonful of the yogurt in the bottom of a parfait glass. Top with a spoonful of the figs and a sprinkle of the granola. Continuing layering until the glass is full. 

Top with remaining granola and a sprinkle of honey. Serve cold.

Simple and delicious!

We loved our parfaits, of course, but everything was delicious. I particularly liked the pancetta, sweet potato, and pecan hash, and I think Tod was partial to the buttermilk biscuits, because really, who can resist a buttermilk biscuit? And of course the cocktails were a hit.

One final story: I'm blogging right now while Tod cooks supper for us. We picked up a bag of Florida grapefruit at the store (on sale, of course) and are enjoying greyhounds with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. Such a treat. 

Anyway, my dear husband just walked in wearing the red mesh grapefruit bag as a hairnet, not unlike the lunchroom lady from my high school cafeteria. I have no words.

Happy weekend, folks. And thank you again, Montgomery, for such a fun morning at Charleston Cooks! We had a wonderful time and only wish you could have been there with us. The red velvet pancake station really could have used your expertise as their pancakes, although delicious, ended up looking more like red beet potato chips than pancakes! (No offense, pancake station workers.) 


Anonymous said...

Glad you got your computer fixed! Have missed your blog.the CPR is 30/2 for next time. On the red net hairnet, could he have stolen the idea from childhood memories of his mother?

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