For Valentine's day, although he didn't consider it a Valentine's day present, Taylor had a surprise for me.
See, for my birthday in November, he took me to Myers + Chang, a fabulous (fantastic!) restaurant in the South End of Boston. It was so (so so so) good, we have returned several times, just the two of us, and with friends, and each time, it knocks our socks off! It's quite tasty.
So the surprise this morning, you may have guessed, was a date at Myers + Chang. A cooking-class-date, to be precise. (Here is a great write-up of the class, by one of our classmates.)
First, we learned how to make scallion pancakes: scallions and sesame oil suspended in a light, fluffy dough which is then fried. (I really need to get some white spelt flour so I can make baked goods and light doughs again! I love whole grain breads, but really--sometimes you just need all that white "goodness").
One aspect of the class that I really appreciated were the "do ahead of time" tricks. For instance, you can freeze the cakes before you pan them. Defrost them for a day: presto! fried dough with minimal day-of work :) That's my kind of recipe!
We also learned how to make the green papaya slaw and Mama Chang's pork and chive dumplings.
Best part about the dumplings: they're dumplings! Who doesn't like dumplings? Chef Barros even took us across the street to Ming's market where he showed us where we can buy dumpling wrappers (yes, and a lot of other nifty things).
Joanne Chang herself (founder of Flour Bakery) showed us how her mother taught her to make dumplings. I have never dumpl-ed dumplings before, so it was great to have someone show me a method (any method, rather than just smushing the dough together around the filling). And I really like Mama Chang's (and I'm stickin' to it).
Such a gift is True Love.
Only Love could say: "I love you so much I want to help you cook better." without implying that one's cooking is bad or even lacking in any way. And only Love could respond: "I love you so much I want to learn how to cook things you like!" without inferring any harsh comments about aforementioned cooking :)
So if you're in the Boston area, definitely check out Myers + Chang. You won't regret it (unless you regret eating delicious food [pictured on that page: the mu la lat skewers!] at reasonable prices in an awesome atmosphere)!