Candy making class at the Pantry
GOAL: Be at home long enough to sign up for a real cooking class that involves something too intimidating to do at home with the help of google. CHECK and DONE.
In the winter of 2012, I deemed 2013 as the year of change. Part of this year of change involves spending time rebalancing my personal portfolio. This means dedicating energy to move from 90% work/10% fun to a 60% work/40% fun. I call this ‘Ashley asset allocation’ (AKA: stop working 24:7). Throughout this nearly 10-month journey (thus-far), I have been reminded of some important life lessons, like ‘live with no regrets,’ and ‘timing is everything’.
We can talk about living with no regrets, but most normal humans have had those afterthoughts of “dammit, why didn’t I…” or “fek, why DID I…” So I’ll leave that lesson alone and just say that it’s been a good reminder to live each day like it’s your last. Cheesy, yes. Corny, also yes. True? Absolutely.
As for TIMING?! WOW. The right timing applies to so many things; picking the time to go for a walk so you don’t get stuck huddled under a boat to avoid the rain; not taking 5 hours to cook dinner for your friend (especially if you choose to start prepping at 5pm); meeting the right person at the right time in your life; and as I recently also learned… preparation and timing is imperative to candy making success.
The Pantry at Delancey in Ballard has some of the most relevant (to me) cooking classes in the Seattle area… And apparently they’re the coolest to everyone else and their mother, because the classes almost always sellout within a week of being posted. But I managed to get myself into the Candy Making class on a day that I was actually home from work travel. I also managed to get into a class taught by Ashley Rodriguez herself (notwithoutsalt.com), which was equally exciting because her name is also Ashley and I’ve spend much Instagram-time (@ashrod) drooling over her photos.
On a side note, I just thought of nailpolish chipping off while handmixing things… Gross! Self-note taken to remove nailpolish before hand-to-food contact. Or invest in many more boxes of latex gloves from Costco.
Ashley gave us some basic lessons on candy making, which really centered around working with sugar. That first chunk of the class alone, gave me enough info to look back at all my caramel making disasters with an ‘ahhhh’ moment and a renewed confidence in caramel making. I’m still scared of working with chocolate, but that will come with practice, so unfortunately I will have to make more candy soon and therefore eat more candy too.
The rest of the class went by with Ashley demonstrating how to make a component, then the class (which was split in groups) took turns making the same thing. I spent most of my time being a ‘watcher’ and being called the food paparazzi. What can I say? I’m Asian. I take pictures… of everything.
The Pantry at Delancey had turned into Willy Wonka’s Chocoalte Factory by the end. Chocolate and candy everywhere… including my mouth.
At the end of the class, we took home boxes of Twix, Snickers, Peppermint Patties, Butterfingers, and Peanut Butter Cups. Those on my good side may be recipients of homemade candy in the future…
After only going to commercial-type cooking classes (William Sonoma, Whole Foods, etc.), I had no clue what to expect at the Pantry. Conclusion? Amazeballs. And although it turned out to be cold rainy Seattle Saturday, it was a perfect day to be stuck inside breathing caramel, peppermint, shortbread, and warm peanut butter fumes. There’s something comforting in being surround by sugar glazed eyes, buttery hands, and salty personalities… I found home. I found my kind. I found my new escape.