My comfort foods class on Monday really worked out well. Sometimes we don't have enough time to complete the recipes because we have just so many minutes to put the dishes together. But with some advance preparation that didn't rob my students of a learning process, it all came out better than good. We had ham and bean soup and I had soaked the beans at home and also I had boiled the ham hock at the same time in a separate pot with two teaspoons of herbes de Provence. When I arrived at the cottage kitchen, I presented the group with ham stock, softened beans and hocks with meat just falling off the bones Members of the group chopped an onion, several carrots and two sticks of celery and mushed up four cloves of garlic. They stripped the ham off the bones and then everything went into one pot and cooked for an hour by which time the beans were soft and I finished off the project by using a emulsion blender to mush up some of the beans.
At the same time we put together two glorious egg custard pies. I used Pillsbury's ready made pie crust and lined two pie plates, building up the edges to make them deeper. Then mixed up eggs, milk and sugar with a little vanilla and poured into the shells, dotted with some butter and with great difficulty, one of my helpers moved the very sloppy pies to the oven where in about 35 minutes they had firmed up. Very eggy and creamy and the added whipped cream, raspberries, banana slices and shredded coconut didn't hurt this elegant dessert. I had also brought from home some from -scratch hot chocolate to further the comfort ambiance along A very happy, relaxed group of eaters.