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During a sabbatical which allowed me one week in Paris, I took a cooking class
at A World in a Pan.

As a priest, I had been assigned to a large parish where I oversaw a major renovation project. The sabbatical was a God-send gift and a time to recapture some energy for ministry.

The class was a wonderful part of that experience: We prepared verrines, veal Blanquette and a pear gateau. As the year ends I look back with thankfulness for Laura's welcome and expertise.

I had wanted to serve our cooking class dinner for New Year's eve but couldn't find veal - I live in a fairly small town and am not even having much luck in the larger metropolitan area. I asked Laura if anything could be substituted for the veal in the blanquette, and if so, if there were any other adaptations that have to be made to the recipe.

Thanks to her immediate reply and help I was able to make an adaptation with chicken of our cooking class dinner for my New Year's Eve party and it was a huge success!

My guests couldn't get enough of the Blanquette. The chicken worked very well. I was wondering if there a different name when one uses the chicken. In any case, I think I will go that route instead of the veal which is so hard to find around here as it was really tasty.

Folks also loved the pear gateau. As I was making it I realized that I didn't have a mixer. That meant the egg whites had to be whipped by hand. Tiring! But, even though they were not as stiff as I would have liked the cake turned out wonderfully.

The best complement was that everyone wanted to go back for more. But they all admitted that it was so rich they were satisfied but really craved the taste!
I want to thank Laura for all her help and advice as to substituting the chicken for the veal.

If I am ever in Paris again (something I hope will happen) I would love to take another class. And I would definitely recommend your atelier to anyone looking for such an experience.

God Bless and have a very Happy New Year.
Fr. John Sauer

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Fr John Sauer signed up for a cooking atelier during a brief Paris stay in April 2007. He tells us how he shared his cooking experience with his New Year’s Eve dinner.

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