Sunday, May 30, 2010

June Cooking Classes

Just when I was starting to get the summer education blues, I noticed a new cooking school offering classes in Carmel: Cooking Greek, which specializes in (obviously) Greek cuisine. Four-hour classes are offered at 2:30 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday at Alice's Catering in Carmel, but the menu varies each weekend.

Here are a few examples:
  • June 5-6 -- Greek salad, pastitsio (Greek lasagna) with green beans, and loukoumades (Green honey dough balls) ($80)
  • June 12-13 -- Saganaki (flaming cheese), mousaka with horiatiki salata (country salad), and almond rolls ($90)
It sounds delicious, but it seems a bit pricey. Included are recipes, take-home containers and all the food you make, which Cooking Greek claims is enough for two to three people.

In other news, Chef JJ's is offering classes this month on vegetarian grilling, steak and East Coast seafood, all starting at 6:15 on Tuesday evenings. And Frasier's Gourmet Foods is offering "Cooking with Lavender," a unique topic from R Bistro sous chef Erin Kem (June 22).

Finally, stop by Maggiano's Little Italy at 10 a.m., June 5, for a class on Texas BBQ ($25). What this has to do with Italian food, I really couldn't say.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: Wine and Canvas

As much as I'd love to be artistic, my drawing and painting skills are on par with your average kindergartner's. Nevertheless, I had a great time last night at Wine and Canvas, a painting class held in restaurants and wine shops around town.

Last night's event was held at Muldoon's, where we had a quiet corner to ourselves. When we arrived, our easels, canvases, brushes and paint palettes were already set up, and we put on aprons to keep the paint off of our work clothes.

Once we were settled (and had ordered our drinks, of course), the instructor led us through the steps to create our "Cosmo" paintings. She explained the basics, but she also suggested changes we could make to individualize our work -- such as the curvy, slightly crooked stem on my glass.

My painting isn't museum quality, but I like it anyway. I learned a few things about how to paint, and I had a great time doing it. Even better, Wine and Canvas handles all the clean-up. What a relaxing way to wrap up a busy day!

Wine and Canvas has three to five events per week, most on weekday evenings. Locations include El Torito Grill, Chateau Thomas Winery's tasting room in Fishers, Muldoon's and Mass Ave Wine Shop. You can pick the location that works best for you, or you can choose the painting you like best. All classes cost $35-40.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Upcoming Classes: Indy Parks

Indy Parks has released its summer calendar, which covers June through September. For some reason, I have a bee in my bonnet about the Eagle Creek Park marina: Should I try a $75 sailing class or maybe one of the late-night canoe trips on the night of a full moon? Sometime during my crazy summer Shakespeare schedule, I'm hoping to do both.

As always, there are plenty of dance, fitness, arts and horticulture classes, concentrated at Broad Ripple Park, Garfield Park, Eagle Creek Park and Holliday Park.

Garfield Park Conservatory, for example, has classes such as All About Herbs (July 10 and Aug. 14), Beekeeping Basics (Aug. 1) and Butterfly Gardening (June 26). And, the arts center there has classes on jewelry-making, painting, print-making, poetry, drawing and more.

I've said this before, but I really hate the way the catalog is organized. Classes are listed by location, not topic or age group. So, if you want to find, say, an adult pottery class, you have to look through every darn page in the catalog, including page after page of toddler swimming classes. Are you listening, parks people?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cooking Classes at Joseph Decuis

One of Indiana's best restaurants, Joseph Decuis, is offering a series of cooking classes based on James Beard Award-winning chefs and their cookbooks. The restaurant is located in Roanoke, near Fort Wayne, so it's a bit of a drive from Indy -- but I'm sure it will be worth it.

Classes are $65 per person and take place at 1 p.m. Saturdays (and I strongly suggest staying afterward for dinner). Here's the schedule for the rest of the year:
  • May 15: The Sweet Spot by Pichet Ong
  • June 12: Burger Bar by Hubert Keller
  • July 10: Italian Grill by Mario Batali
  • Aug. 21: American Cookery by James Beard
  • Sept. 18: In the Greet Kitchen by Alice Waters
  • Oct. 23: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
  • Nov. 13: Bouchon by Thomas Keller
  • Dec. 4: Cooking by James Peterson

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Project: Shakespeare in a Year

Along with adult education, I have three other passions: travel, cheese, and the works of William Shakespeare. So, today, I'm launching a new project: the Shakespeare in a Year Challenge. The new blog will cover my effort to read all 38 Shakespeare plays within a year -- and see as many of them performed as my budget and husband will allow.

Rest assured, the That'll Teach Me blog will continue as usual. But reading is an educational experience of its own, so I hope you'll stop by the new blog and participate in the debate (e.g., Falstaff: Love him or hate him? Personally, I hate him.).

I'll also be posting updates from my Shakespeare-related travels to Stratford, Ontario; England; and many of the Midwest's best Shakespeare experiences. (And, if I eat some cheese while I'm there, I'll be enjoying all of my passions at once. Talk about overload!)

As I wrote on the other blog, this project is going to challenge both my intellect and my schedule, but it's going to be an incredible journey. I hope you'll join me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shakespeare on the Sea

Looking for a summer vacation option? I just came across Insight Cruises, which offers intriguing continuing-education classes in between glamorous ports of call. All of the cruises are themed: space exploration, chess, quilting, Shakespeare, etc. See you on the next Shakespeare cruise!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Preview: Mini University

After last year's incredible experience, I eagerly enrolled in this year's Mini University, a program of the IU Alumni Association. I got my registration packet a few days ago, and already I'm drooling about the classes I'll be taking. Here are my top five picks:
  • Why Do People Spy? Motivations of Some of the Greatest Spies of the 20th Century
  • Newspapers in a Paperless World
  • Shakespeare: Theater and Cognitive Science
  • The Blues (with music professor David Baker)
  • Artists' Courtships and Early Marriages: A Time of Creative Inspiration
  • The Sustainable Table (with foodie, author and professor Christine Barbour)
What's that you say? I was supposed to choose my top five, but there are six classes on the list? Well, I couldn't choose. Which one sounds most interesting to you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Upcoming IMA Lectures

During the summer doldrums, when other educational venues slow down, the Indianapolis Museum of Art gears up for a busy season. The big news, of course, is the hundred-acre Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park, which opens June 20. (Isn't it too bad they didn't name it the Hundred Acre Wood?) In the meantime, the museum has several upcoming events.

Next week, landscape architect Richard Bisgrove will discuss Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson, two English garden designers who were active in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The event is free, but registration is required (7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 13).

The following week, architect and author Sarah Susanka will discuss urban architecture -- essentially, the idea that larger houses are not only enlarging our carbon footprints and also weakening our families (7 p.m., May 20, $7). Click here to buy tickets.

And, although it's not really educational, don't forget the museum's wonderful Summer Nights film series, featuring movies on the terrace each Friday evening. Highlights include "Rebel Without a Cause," "A Fish Called Wanda," "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and two midnight shows, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Drool-worthy Class: The Oxford Experience

I'm always searching for summer camp programs for adults, but I've finally discovered the most tempting summer educational program on earth: The Oxford Experience. From early July to early August, participants move into Christ Church, Oxford, dorm rooms and take weekly classes such as "Riot and Rebellion in Shakespeare's London" and "History of the English Language."

As Liz Lemon would say (with a dazed expression), "I want to go to there."

Of course, it's not cheap: about 800 pounds per week, which is about $1,200. But I can't think of a better way to soak up knowledge about English literature, architecture, history and more. Someday ...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jo-Ann Offers May/June Classes

Jo-Ann Fabrics has a new-and-improved website, thank goodness, so it's much easier to find the schedule for local classes. In May and June, the Castleton location is offering classes on sewing, quilting, cake decorating and scrapbooking.

A good friend of mine took the Wilton cake decorating series, and now she can make cute little gum paste animals for her kids' birthday cakes. The first course, Discover Cake Decorating, starts tomorrow, so sign up now if you're interested: (317) 585-9150.