This past Saturday and Sunday was the Creative Blast — Art & Cooking Retreat here at the farm. We had a full house with 12 attendees (my limit for the studio class size). Kelly Walker was here leading painting workshops–canvas and gourd birdhouses–and I led the Julia Child cooking workshops. We cooked and painted our feet off, let me tell ya. I was so tired yesterday, I sat on the couch all day and ate bon bons. (Just kidding. I was eating leftover chocolate mousse from the workshops.)
I think/hope everyone had a great time! The food came out really delicious–Julia Child doesn’t do anything halfway or low calorie–and I was quite impressed with the art that was created over the weekend. I never take as many photos as I wish I took during a retreat because I’m always too busy and I completely forget about my camera. Here, in their opening activity, I had everyone chopping up vegetables for the chicken fricassee they were about to prepare for supper.
And that was the last photo I took of anyone preparing food! They made chicken fricassee, french bread, chocolate mousse, Queen of Sheba chocolate-almond cake, and creme brulee. They learned to cut up a whole chicken, saute and stew it for a fricassee, and how to braise and stew vegetables. I did take a couple pictures of breakfast one morning. For a typical workshop morning, I serve eggs, ham, biscuits, and apples–a classic country breakfast.
Here, I’ve got some apples halved, cores removed, with a mixture of equal parts butter, flour, and a maple-brown sugar instant oatmeal made into a streusel topping. Bake in the oven for about half an hour, then drizzle on some maple syrup. This is delicious, trust me. And so simple.
My friend Jerry stopped by and took some photos of the artistes at work while I was in the studio prepping the next meal. Here, they were working on their gourd birdhouses.
I managed to grab a photo of them working on their canvas projects.
Notice we had a couple of men in the group! Ladies, please don’t be afraid to talk your husbands into coming along! (Or men, come on your own!) We have a great time with the men here, and sometimes they come in especially handy if something goes wrong. One couple was staying here on the farm in their RV and when I needed a few minor repairs in the barnyard, he was generous enough to help me out. (Thank you, Mike!)
It wasn’t all work at the retreat, and attendees always have an opportunity to sit out on the deck enjoying the view, talking and relaxing, feed treats to the animals (I had Maia out of the barnyard the first day and up at the studio visiting), or take a walk. This photo was taken by Jerry also.
Thank you to everyone who was here–I enjoyed your company so much! I also want to thank Kelly Walker–I was proud to have her here leading workshops with her wonderful talent and good cheer.
I have more workshops coming up this summer. There are just a few spots left in the June Cheese, Bread, Soap & Herbs retreat with co-teacher Laura Phillips, if you’re interested in that. Also, Kelly and I will be hosting another Art & Cooking retreat on the weekend of September 13-14–there will be different art/craft projects and a different theme (pioneer style!) to the recipes. More information coming soon. There will also be a second cheese/baking/soap retreat coming up at the end of August–more information about that soon, too! The studio is going to be a busy place this summer! Come join us! Watch the blog for details on upcoming retreats, or check this page.
See you at the farm!Permalink