September 15, 2010

Cooking for Workshop

All of the workshops here at NMSU are at night, usually from 5-7:30pm or occasionally 5:30-8 pm. Prime dinner hour. It's hard to sit for 2 1/2 hours and be critical and smart when you're starving, so for the last two years, our poetry workshop has had a tradition of asking each person to bring food for the class once each semester.

We've had quite the range of meals since I've been at NMSU. Pizza ordered ten minutes before class began (cough cough Robbie), cold gazpacho, banana pudding, PB&Js, enchiladas, zucchini bread, eggrolls, veggie platters from Albertson's, chips and salsa, candy; pretty much everything on the spectrum. It's always interesting to me to see what my classmates bring to share. I'm clearly into food, but I'm also really (creepily? is this abnormal?) interested in other people's eating habits: what other people like to eat, the effort they put into food, and what they might deem appropriate food for certain settings. I also think that class feels just a little bit more festive when you can pass cookies around the table.

It's important, of course, to not bring something too involved; you don't want people concentrating more on your food than on the work in front of them. Messiness is also kind of out; having to pass back comments with melted ice cream or something like that on them is not ideal.

Last night, it was my turn to provide food for my fellow poets. In the past I've made cornbread, spinach-bean dip, and pasta salad. I didn't have much time to actually make anything too involved, but I always want to bring something good and a little unusual, more than a bag of pretzels and a box of gingersnaps, you know? I find that finger-foods usually work well, so I brought sliced french bread, crackers, sharp cheddar cheese, apples, and hummus. I had also seen this recipe for Mint-Pea Dip and was looking for a chance to make it.  Mint-Pea dip sounds borderline gross, I think, but I promise you it's refreshing, delicious, and wonderful on bread. It consists of frozen peas, fresh mint, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese; that's all.

Photo courtesy of

Everything seemed to be a hit, including the dip, which I was a little wary about. What would you make if you were cooking for a group in a classroom setting?

1 comment:

  1. It was great and I thought the dip would even taste good on pasta.


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