Every once in a while, I need to back away from the jeweler’s bench. 7 days a week can be too much, and sometimes I need to switch gears to get my mojo back, after banging away at the anvil for too long. I am fortunate enough to live in a place where I can indulge any artistic craving I have. Northwest Connecticut is chock full of schools and classes for just about any artistic endeavor. Saturday, I discovered a new art form…The Petit Macaron.
These aren’t the coconut macaroons you find at the supermarket…these are the mouthwatering confections that my daughters brought home one day, in a small box of 8 after a trip to NYC with their Dad. “Those are lovely, how much were they?”, I asked as I watched them devour them with reverence. “I don’t know, Mom, around twenty something dollars.” Huh? I didn’t partake in their feast of the ambrosia of the gods, a) because they had nuts, and I’m allergic to most, and b) I fainted when I heard the price for these mini-cookies.
Lucky for me, The Silo, a local treasure located in New Milford CT was holding a class on making Valentine’s Macarons at their cooking school held by reknown Chef Kathyrn Gordon yesterday. I signed up, and took the class, and what a treat!! (No pun intended).
First of all, The Silo is incredible…I’ll get into that a little later. I used to take my daughters there when they were very small to cooking classes for Mommy and me, making GingerBread Houses for the holidays one year!!
I dragged my BFF and partner in crime, Karen, to the Silo on a crisp, beautiful Sunny Saturday morning at 10am. The class was packed!! Are the Macarons the new Cupcake, I wondered? Just being in The Silo was a treat in and of itself.
Before I can continue, I have to tell you about the Silo. Known officially as The Henderson Cultural Center at Hunt Hill Farm, The Silo, is the cultural legacy of Ruth and Skitch Henderson, the late, world reknown pianist, conductor and composer, founder of The New York Pops, and the original band leader of “The Johnny Carson Show”. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the unique history of the farm, which was lovingly maintained by The Hendersons. The Silo includes a Cooking School, the Skitch Henderson Museum, the Hunt Hill Farm Land Preserve, the Gallery and The Silo Store. To read more about this cultural oasis , check out http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org/
I had to give you this background history so you could understand my giddiness upon entering this rustic, country kitchen on Saturday…I could have spent the entire day there!!!
Chef Kathryn Gordon, a lovely, cheerful woman was there, with her assistants to teach us how to make traditional, French macarons. In her down to earth, no-nonsense but good humored fashion, she lead the class in making the macaron batter, piping the cookies, and making a variety of mouthwatering fillings. We learned to assemble the delicate sandwiches, and Chef Kathryn generously shared many secret tips in getting them to turn out beautifully when making them at home. We made pink swirled macarons with caramel fleur de sel filling, purple and gold macarons with white mint ganache (my favorite!), red velvet macarons with cream cheese filling, and pink/purple swirled macarons with homemade raspberry jam. The results?? Mouthwatering…
I left the class with a generous sampling of all the different macarons, and I just had to buy Chef Kathryn’s book, and have her autograph it!!
You can check out more on her website www.lespetitsmacarons.com. I highly recommend both the book, and this class!!
|Chef Kathryn Gordon (right), and myself|
|Chef Kathryn Gordon's New Book|
Oh and guess what? The Silo will now carry Alexis Gopal Jewelry…I left my business card at the register when purchasing my book, and received a lovely email when I got home that they would love to carry my jewelry line in their store. More blessings for 2013!!
Peace and love,Alexis