Polish Cooking with Paula

Polish Sausage

One of the best post-snow diversions I’ve found these past few days are the cooking classes held by Paula Croteau at her Farm house Kitchen Cooking School in Southold. (She also runs the winery Croteaux Vineyards with her husband Michael, a designer.) Full disclosure: Paula is a friend of mine. Further disclosure: Even that fact didn’t get me in. I had to sit upstairs in Paula’s little study, looking down on the heads of the lucky students who had signed up for her Polish Cooking Class much earlier than I had…

There were about 12 lucky pupils who learned how to make potato pancakes and various stews with polish names (Bigos and Golabki) and even desserts like poppy seed cake. I learned a lot of Polish words too (mostly cooking) and interesting facts like Polish people are big on carraway seeds. In short, Paula gives a lot of class for a very little bit of money- certainly by Manhattan standards. And of course she teaches a lot more than just Polish cooking- she teaches how to make bread and fresh pasta and Asian specialties.  And she chops really, really well – something that I wish I could do. Her hands move on a cutting board with sureness of a concert pianist over a Steinway (I had a bird’s eye view after all.) I didn’t even mind that they kept stacking up pots on the stairway so I couldn’t walk down the stairs. I would have happily stayed up there all day if I could – but I’m hoping to get a spot in the actual kitchen next time.

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