I mentioned in Monday’s blog entry that I had been down to the twin cities for the weekend because I had a Minnesota Master Gardener State Advisory Board meeting (whew–that’s a mouthful!) at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
We had a great meeting, with lots of exciting news and plans for master gardeners. But we also had a wonderful surprise for lunch.
Typically, at these board meetings (which run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) we get a box lunch. They’ve been just fine–the typical sandwich, chips, cookie, etc.
But at the conclusion of the morning portion of the meeting, the new guy in charge said, “I have a surprise for you. I’ve hired a Guatemalan chef to make your lunch, and you get to watch her make it in the demonstration kitchen.”
Whoa! I mean, can you even imagine how excited I was about that? I love to cook, I definitely love to eat, I love to try new cuisines (new to me, anyway), and watching cooking shows is one of my favorite things to do! (Also reading cookbooks.) I was so jazzed!
So we all filed down to the demonstration kitchen and were introduced to Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, whose brand-new cookbook, Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen, has been awarded “Best International Cookbook of the Year.” (Or something like that–I can’t remember exactly what the title of the award is.)
She was amazing! She made fresh tortillas, a chicken/onion/tomato filling, and a fresh salsa with tomatoes, onions, avocado, and cucumber (among other things). Then we finished off the meal with Guatemalan hot chocolate.
It was so much fun watching her cook–she was really dynamic. And the smell that filled the kitchen as she was frying onions and thyme. . . we could hardly wait to eat and stomachs were growling all over the place.
The food was wonderful, and many of us also bought her cookbook, which she graciously signed.
I can hardly wait to read through this one and try as many recipes as possible!