Saturday, October 03, 2009

Shrimp Heads and Dog Food

I thought I knew all there was to know about shrimp. I mean, after all, I grew up in the Florida panhandle where we bought shrimp right off the boat. But I learned something new today.

Today’s class at Hill’s Kitchen was about the cooking of Southern Thailand – curries and chicken sate with peanut sauce and hot and sour shrimp soup. The food was once again so much better than food I’ve eaten in good local Thai restaurants, and for the most part was quite doable.

But the gem of the day was the idea of creating rich fish stock from shrimp heads and shells. These are the parts that usually cause me to have to take out the garbage immediately after dinner. But instead I can simply throw them into a pot of water and get a flavorful broth. Such a broth could then be the basis for any number of great seafood soup recipes. And I’m sure the cooked shells could wait until the morning to be thrown out.

As we sat there savoring every bite of the resulting 4 dishes, I had the idea that to celebrate the first year of classes, Hill’s Kitchen should organize a pot luck, where we students could bring a dish we had learned how to make. What a meal that would be!

After class and a cursory clean-up, Chef Brock and I moved over to Starbucks to talk about dog food. My class is actually going to happen on December 5. With his help, I will teach a class of 12 how to make “Jake’s” dog food, homemade yogurt to top it, and dog biscuits to reward good canine behavior. We talked about how to divide the labor of the class and it sounds like it will work well.

I came home and started developing a time line so as to figure out how to fit all the instruction into a 90-minute class. It’s harder than it sounds! But I have at least a draft plan.

Each participant will take home a legitimate doggy bag so that Fido will be able to taste the fruits of our labor. It will be a great opportunity for me to see how I like teaching cooking.

Meanwhile I need to put out the word so people will sign up for the class. If it’s any incentive, I can tell them they will easily recoup the cost of the class in dog food savings over just a couple of months.


Blogger Steve said...

That's great! It's exciting that you're going to get a chance to teach! I wonder if Jake's dog food would work for cats, too? :)

9:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- I'm already learning that a big part of teaching is doing your homework so as to be prepared for questions like yours. I just told Brock yesterday that I was sure someone was going to ask about cat food. Right now I know next to nothing about cat nutrition, but I plan to learn something before December 5. I'll let you and Armenia know what I find out.

10:46 AM  
Blogger karen said...

Great, I hope that it goes well! Jake's dog food sounds amazing, and I'm sure lots of people are going to enjoy learning how to make it :)

11:37 AM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

I can't believe you have been throwing out shells and heads.
Criminal, Barbara, criminal.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Karen -- I just hope people sign up for the class!

BH -- My mother didn't make hew own stock. How was I supposed to know?

4:37 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

If I had a dog, I'd definitely be there. I'm tempted anyway - I do so much baking for others.

8:33 AM  

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