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June 5, 2020 | Cellar Scoop | 4.0 Insider

Cooking With Casey…and Wine

I love to cook. Some of my best memories are of my mom and grandmothers in their kitchens whipping up their favorite dishes. When I was very young, my mom took a gourmet cooking class. She still talks about the time she tried to make homemade croissants.

So, when GM Dave asked me to take an online cooking class taught by a friend of his in Sonoma, I was psyched. As a special event for case club members, Dave is designing an online cooking class with Chef Casey that will feature our wines, and he needed a guinea pig. I signed up for a class on pie crust because I love baking and have always wanted to make a pie crust as good as my maternal grandmother’s. Sadly (but fortuitously), that class was cancelled, and the next available was on fried rice. So, fried rice it would be.

Let me begin by jumping to the finish: The fried rice turned out great, and I’ll definitely be making it again. Getting to that finish was an adventure.

The day before the class, I received an email with the recipes and the needed ingredients. I enlisted my daughter to do the shopping. She did a great job finding items she’d never heard of (oyster sauce, Napa cabbage). But neither of us was able to track down egg roll wrappers, chili oil, and kimchi. Oh, and I needed MSG, too. I didn’t even know that MSG still exists and can be purchased in a store. I just decided to add extra salt as needed. I was able to find spring roll wrappers, so I figured I’d just make spring rolls instead of egg rolls. One must be flexible in the kitchen.

The email strongly encouraged those taking the class to prep ingredients ahead of time, so at noon on the day of the class (the class was set to start at 7:00), I started dicing green onions, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, carrots, broccoli, and cabbage. I peeled and minced garlic and grated ginger. And then I read that I was supposed to make the rice the night before. Oops.

Despite my mistake, I will say that the rice turned out to be the best rice I’ve ever made. Following Chef Casey’s instructions, I de-starched it before cooking it (who knew this is a thing??) and then put it in the refrigerator to dry it out. With everything prepped, I was ready for my first online cooking class.

The hour-long class flew by. I felt like I was in constant motion, getting pans ready, heating oils, tossing ingredients together, and trying desperately to make spring rolls that would look like something you’d want to eat (still working on this)…all while enjoying wine, of course, because it’s nearly impossible to cook without wine. There were several other people in the class via Zoom, so I was able to see their reactions to their dishes. Chef Casey patiently walked us through each step and answered our questions.

So case club members: Be on the lookout for an email from us about our upcoming 4.0 cooking class with Chef Casey. You don’t want to miss this fun! And when you get the email from Chef Casey about the recipes and ingredients, be sure to read ALL of it ASAP.

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