new year, new home, new classes

Well, hello there and happy 2017! Sorry if this space has felt a little abandoned. "A little" is putting it mildly, of course; it's been over a year since I last posted. A lot has changed during this time so here is a brief recap of Moscow Gourmet Kitchen news and a few updates about upcoming classes and other events:

- A year ago, my husband and I moved to the tiny town of Twisp in the Methow Valley in North Central Washington State, a 4-5 hour drive from Seattle. We are so fortunate to live in this unique area where we can enjoy beautiful landscapes and a rich community life during the day and can see the stars and hear the coyotes and owls (as well as an occasional wolf) at night. And, much to my surprise, there is interest in Russian cooking among my new neighbors! Read on below...

- I am excited to be teaching my first cooking class in Methow Valley next Sunday, January 22. The class is currently full (in fact, due to demand, we expanded it from my usual 16 students to 20) so registration is now closed, but I hope there will be more classes in the future. And, the topic of the class? Piroshki, of course! There is probably no better ambassador for Russian food than these pockets of light yet rich, raised dough filled with a vast array of savory or sweet fillings and baked to a glistening, golden brown. This time, we will use piroshki dough to make a large, double-crust slab pie with mushrooms & onions; we will also make cabbage & carrot piroshki and apple piroshki. The local Grange, which hosts a series of winter cooking classes each year, is generously allowing instructors to use their spacious, professionally equipped kitchen and classroom area at a very low rate. In turn, this helps us instructors keep our prices at the low end and make classes affordable for students. In addition to teaching my class, I look forward to taking a couple of classes that others are offering, including Hot Sauce Making and Okonomiyaki.

- Although less frequently than before, I also continue to teach classes in Seattle. While I am no longer teaching at PCC Cooks due to scheduling issues (I would need to travel to Seattle more often than I am able to if I were to continue at PCC), I taught a couple of Russian Dumplings classes at The Pantry last year. It's always a pleasure to return to their beautiful space in Ballard, which was recently expanded and can now host two classes concurrently. Next month, I'm thrilled to bring the Russian Dumplings class to the Hot Stove Society, Tom Douglas's cooking school located inside Seattle's Hotel Andra. We will make pozy/buuz, steamed dumplings with lamb that are popular just north of the Mongolian border (and in Mongolia itself); Siberian pelmeni, pot sticker-style dumplings filled with beef & pork; and two types of pierogi-like dumplings that are known in Russia as vareniki: a savory variety with potatoes & onions and a bacon topping, and a dessert variety with pie cherries, served with cherry sauce and sour cream. This class, which will take place on February 25, is now open for registration; please follow this link to sign up: https://www.hotstovesociety.com/classes/russian-dumplings. I will be repeating this class on March 11; this second class will be added to the Hot Stove website shortly.

- Another fun event that is happening at the Hot Stove Society is their first annual Dumpling Fest! Held at the Palace Ballroom on February 26, this will be a multicultural celebration of all styles, shapes and sizes of dumplings. I am thankful to have been invited to participate and look forward to offering up some of my dumplings (not sure what kind yet) as well as sampling others' creations. This event hasn't been posted online yet but I'm sure it will be soon. When it is, I will try to remember to post a link here; if I forget, please check my Facebook page as I update it a lot more often than this blog (obviously).

- Hopping over to the eastern slopes of the Cascades again, a group of women in Chelan, about 50 miles from where we live, heard about my upcoming Piroshki class in Twisp and asked if I would teach this class in Chelan (or, to be exact, in Manson, a nearby town) at a local commercial kitchen. They have already recruited a full group of eager students; how cool is that?! The date is TBD but should be some time in March.

That's it for today; I believe I've caught us up to date on all the major news on my end - at least the cooking-related ones. I will make an honest effort to visit this blog more regularly and also make a few much-needed updates to other portions of this website. Stay tuned and thank you for visiting and keeping in touch!

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