On the 26th of January IWNG Member, Ivana Prokic held her pilot event of the ‘rounDtable workshop. A 4-hour cooking workshop, combined with good company and conversations. This edition was all about preservation. And I was really looking forward to it, as I have great memories of walking in the forest with my grandparents when I was younger and picking blue and blackberries. Loads of them! My grandmother always made jams out of it. And having made many Indian friends abroad, I kind of really like chutneys. So this workshop came in handy to learn how to make these pots full of “yumminess”.
At noon, we were welcomed at Ivana’s home. A table with 15 seats and lots (!) of hearty snacks was ready for us. After having to wash our hands first and tying our hair into a ponytail (yes, working with food means living by the rules of HACCP*), we were allowed to sit down.
*Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, for risk inventory, when working with food.
When everyone was present we did a quick introduction round and Ivana explained what we were going to do that day. So our program was that we were going to make the following:
1. Easy & healthy plum jam
2. Pickles (in vinegar with spices)
3. Pear, apple and onion chutney
4. Preservation in oil (different veggies)
Four recipes sound like an easy thing to do, but let me tell you,…it was a whole lot of chopping! What helped was that Ivana was well prepared with chopping boards, knives, storage boxes, etc.
For the chopping, we were divided into several groups. So each group was preparing either the plums for the jams, the apple and pear for the chutney and together we all peeled and chopped several kinds of veggies.
The plums went into the oven. The beets into the instant pot and the pear, apple, and onion were fried on the stove. It was nice to see the process of each recipe, although it was sometimes a bit crowded with 15 people. On the other hand, it was great to see everybody working together and chatting away as well.
What I love about these kinds of recipes that you work with the pure ingredients just as they are. For example, the plums turned out so soft and sweet by roasting them in the oven, that there was no need to add extra sugar.
No wonder when it was ready, the label on the jar was “No Bullshit plum jam”! And let me tell you,…the subtitle said: “Eat now or store two weeks”…It was finished before the two weeks were over! This was so good! I enjoyed this jam with some yogurt and granola in the morning and when I wanted something sweet in the afternoon, I quickly grabbed a cracker with some butter and jam.
The chutney didn’t last long too. I should have bought a bigger size! Luckily, Ivana has the recipes, so I will definitely make it again!
Next week, on Sunday the 16th of February, Ivana hosts her second workshop and this time it’s all about “Fulfillment”. You’ll get to learn how to make empanadas, Chinese dumplings, and Serbian plum dumplings. This time the program starts at 14.00 and finishes at 18.00. The price is 40 Euro’s and IWNG members get a 5 Euro discount.