Thyme with Debbie

Instructional classes about seasonal ingredients and flavors in the kitchen

In Techniques: Cast Iron Cooking, we dispelled people’s fears and discussed how to clean, season and store your cast iron cookware. We tasted a lovely onion jam and made a skillet chocolate chip cookie. During a special raffle of donated items from Lodge Cast Iron, Becky Frey won a cast iron pan and Lori Schaeffer won Lodge’s Cast Iron Nation Cookbook

Good health, good eating and good berry recipes are the highlight of July. During the Berry Best Festival, we sampled some of my favorite blueberry muffins and a delightful blackberry crisp.

Entering into the summer and food festival season we dove into the June-ripe strawberry and asparagus. Titled the Strawberagus Festival, we brushed up on our souffle techniques with a lovely asparagus souffle, using a fast-acting and approachable, homemade ricotta recipe. We made a strawberry ginger punch followed by two variations of strawberry ice cream.

Before Julia Child, there was the gregarious and prolific James Beard. Today's farm-to-table movement is based on his pioneering idea that the freshest local ingredients are the best you can offer in your cooking. We sampled ambushed asparagus and decided Beard's vegetable stock recipe is the best we've tried so far. 

During the Heritage of the Pennsylvania Dutch class, we talked about our rich culture and history. Special guest, Jackie Fetter from Historic Schaefferstown spoke about the Schaeffer Farm and its heirloom seed project. We discussed zwiwwelbrot and tasted sweet and sour grapes.

Southern Appalachian Greens featured healthy greens, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard, just to name a few. We explored ways to use these greens and tasted stuffed mushrooms and a galette of greens.

Techniques: Julia Child and Soup outlined the fundamentals of creating flavorful, savory soups. We reviewed Julia's recommendations for enhancing a store-bought stock, her homemade stock recipe and the base she used for cream soups. Taking the class a step further, we adventured into the world of gazpacho and how a pistou can brighten a vegetable soup.

Amber Waves of Grain featured different grains used to serve up a hearty breakfast, everything from cheesy dill grits to Minnesota wild rice waffles. We elevated the standard toppings of maple syrup and butter with how to make a fabulous fruit-infused maple syrup and lemon maple butter.

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