Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

I finally learned how to chop an onion.

Written By: Tracy - Feb• 27•15

This last Christmas, hubby told me not to plan anything for Valentine’s Day weekend (which meant that Con DFW was out). Completely unbeknownst to me, he booked us into a cooking class at the Winthrop Rockefeller institute.

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The Rockefeller in that name is the same as in Rockefeller center in New York City. Winthrop Rockefeller was a younger son of John D. Rockefeller JR.  He moved to Arkansas and became a rancher on the advice of an army buddy post WWII. After he passed on, his ranch became an educational facility.

So I got to take a cooking class in an old barn, and had dinner next to an old silo.

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The class is called table for two. In it a master chef demonstrates how to prepare a meal. Then the students go into the lab and prepare the same meal. Then we get to eat the fruits (and vegetables, and meats) of our labors in an elegant candlelit setting (under a silo).

Our meal included bruschetta, creamy Italian chicken soup, bacon wrapped stuffed chicken with Asiago cheese sauce, Italian vegetables, polenta and tiramisu for desert.

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Now, I cook every day. And I think of myself as an advanced amateur. Even so, I learned a thing or two that made the class worth the price, and enduring the waiting list to get in. I sharpened my knife skills, and learned easier ways to chop vegetables and butterfly chicken. And we’ve since made the soup at home.

The tuition includes an overnight stay in the facilities, which are on par with a lot of nice lodge hotels that I’ve stayed in. The next day, after we checked out, we borrowed bycicle a and explored the grounds.

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The institute is on top of Petit Jean Mountain, so the scenery was terrific. There is a working, self-sustaining demonstration farm on the grounds, a lake and a botanical garden.

If this interests you, here is the link to the cooking class information. http://www.rockefellerinstitute.org/educational-programs/culinary

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