I feel like I always start my newsletters and / or blogs by saying, “I can’t believe…,” but, I really can’t believe that November is nearly coming to an end! It’s been a whirl wind month with a two week trip to The UK, time in London with my mum and our friend Penny – eating, learning, shopping, walking, seeing friends, and then my mum and I headed to Hove to see a good friend – which doesn’t seem like the appropriate term, as Mary is really more like family. It was a lovely trip as always.

I’m back now, and eager to be back at work – lots of exciting things coming up at The Ruby Apron, as we head into the busiest time of year. Catering dates for December are nearly booked up, if you’re still looking for someone to help out with a work or family + friends Christmas party, we might have a date that works for you! Classes and workshops are updated on the website through the end of February.

I have a sourdough workshop coming up this Sunday from 10am to 12pm, there are a couple of spots available. I am always enthusiastic about bread, but after doing an advanced bread course in London this trip, I am even more excited to be teaching people not only about the importance of quality real bread, but also how simple it really can be to make no matter your schedule. The class I took was at a trendy new (ish!) bakery in London Fields called E5 Bakehouse under a railway arch. We were taken through the way they make a basic country loaf / sourdough that they call Hackney Wild, baguette, and the most beautiful (and delicious!) rye bread that I’ve ever tasted – none of that gummy, gluey, dense texture that is common to rye bread. Eyal the head baker took us through how the bakery started (baking only 20 loaves a day!), and their vision for the future — milling all of their flour in house, using wheat from only The UK, which is harder than it may seem to us in Canada. It was exciting for bread nerds like Penny and myself to work with their starter full of London’s wild yeast, which is much different to the starter that we are both used to using here in Edmonton — I managed to sneak some of the starter home in my suitcase, but haven’t had a chance to use it yet.

We also took a course at a dairy in Borough called Neals Yard — A Cheesemonger’s Lunch, where we were taken through six cheeses, from mild to strong, various accompaniments and we talked about what you can taste in a cheese, how it pairs with wine and beer, and how to choose cheeses for a large crowd. It was a very enjoyable afternoon, and we left full to the brim with cheese in our tummies — and in our handbags! The last course we took on the trip was with Sabrina Ghayour, I use Sabrina’s recipes (from her books Persiana and Sirocco) often for inspiration in my Middle Eastern classes and dinner parties, so it was nice to meet her, and hear her talk about her connection to The Middle East.

I am a firm believer that inspiration in the kitchen comes from surrounding yourself with people who get “it,” always being willing to learn from others, even if it’s something you’re confident with yourself, eating different foods, trying new things, and of course reading cookbooks — I added 13 new books to my collection on this trip… Yes, I had to buy an extra bag to get them home!

Gift certificates are available in any denomination for all services at The Ruby Apron!

Head over to the website to get in touch, check out upcoming classes and see the other services we provide.