And Then There was Quarry Hill

class in hot springs

I just did a private class at the gorgeous home of Kathe Hetzer, the grand and historic Quarry Hill that was built in 1929 and looks as though it could easily be set right into the heart of the Norman countryside. We laughed, we tasted salt, we cooked, we made a delicious meal that was bracketed by sparkling wine on the terrace overlooking the Hot Springs valley, and the renowned Vodka Gimlet Doherty as the warm afternoon waned.

I’ve come away with many things from my visit to Hot Springs, to Washington D.C., and to Alexandria all organized by a formidable duo of friends, Betsy Regnell and Eileen Doherty:

Quarry Hill is a true national treasure
The knives were always sharp
The ingredients were unparalleled
The friendship this geographical area spawns are rich, deep, and filled with good humor
Cooking is done with great seriousness and hilarity
Salt is appreciated by all
Politics are left in the office
Generosity, on all levels, is the by word
In a French Kitchen flew off every table and my signing arm got good exercise

Thank you all



melon salad



As we were relaxing post-class, participant Cindy Howell, in from a quick Warm Springs Mountain hike, dropped off fresh chanterelles and warm, wild blackberries and raspberries.  When gifted with wild mushrooms, the duff still clinging to their stems, I did what one must do, and made an omelette.






Cindy Howell, a student in the Hot Springs class, dropped off chanterelles as a thank you gift, and we turned them into an omelette. The berries we ate as an appetizer!  Delish!

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces (250g) chanterelles, trimmed and brushed clean, coarsely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, green germ removed, minced
6 large eggs
1 large bunch chives

1.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large omelette pan over medium high heat until it is foaming. Add the chanterelles, stir, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and shaking the pan regularly, until the mushrooms have given up some liquid and re-absorbed it, and they are tender, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.

2. While the mushrooms are cooking, whisk the eggs together in a large bowl just until they are combined. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Mince the chives, and add them to the eggs. Whisk thoroughly.

4.  Add the remaining butter to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the eggs and cook, bringing the eggs from the edge of the pan towards the center, and tipping the pan so the still-liquid eggs go towards the outer edges of the pan. Repeat until the eggs are nearly set, then add the chanterelles to the eggs, spreading them in an even layer over the eggs. Turn the omelette onto a serving platter, folding it over as you do.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

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