Today I jumped back into the swing of things and attended a Kitchen Fair put on by the Bewleys Hotel in an area called Ballsbridge. Fortunately for us women who are a part of the American Women’s Club of Dublin, the event was free. Our September meeting was originally scheduled for today at the same venue, but because of the cooking event, we were pushed back to next week. Therefore, free tickets to a cooking extravaganza! I’ve been lucky enough to befriend a few women in the club, so we met at 3 this afternoon for some good food and wine.
When I walked up to the entrance, I realized this was much more put together than I had anticipated. Cocktail waiters were on the front steps with trays of wine, offering a glass of either red or white to each attendee. Since it was 3 in the afternoon and I was driving, I passed on this first glass. I met Marie and Rebecca just inside the front entrance, and we immediately made our way around to each vendor, sampling varieties of cheeses, berries, fish, meats, and desserts.
After a little chit chat amongst ourselves and some other women from the club, we sat down to catch the first cooking exhibition. For the first part of the show, a woman with her slideshow pointed out healthy eating habits and how to cook good, nutritious food at home for a family. Much of her presentation was informative, but geared more toward someone who missed Health 101 in high school. She also made quite a few digs at American lifestyle, pointing out the obesity problem in our country. That’s all fine and well, but there were a couple comments that reminded me that I am the minority in this country.
After the presentation a chef from the hotel did a cooking demonstration. He made a beef stew that looked very easy, followed by a sweet apple dessert. Much to our satisfaction, samples of both dishes were then passed out to the crowd. The only oddity in the entire demonstration was when an old woman in the crowd asked if he was using an aluminum or steel pot, and then later, asked why he liked to scorch his meat when he mentioned that browning the meat adds more flavor. He looked confused and replied that he was browning the meat, not scorching it. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s don’t piss off the chef!
With an intermission in demonstrations, Marie, Rebecca, and I were able to talk and catch up. We talked about our families, upcoming travel, and things we’re still trying to get used to here in Dublin. We were joined by another member of the women’s club, who happens to be hosting the “newcomers” coffee at her home in October. A new face with her own stories, I had a great time learning about her life abroad and all of the traveling she’s had the opportunity to do. In fact, she just returned from France, which is where I’m headed off to tomorrow.
Come 7:30, I figured I should make my way home to spend the rest of the evening with Matt. It was a lovely afternoon in which I enjoyed fresh food, delicious wine, and good company. I met someone new and built on the friendships I’ve already started to make. And, I happened to come home to a spotlessly clean house, thanks to Matt. I should arrive home after him more often!