Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Non-Cooking Cooking Class

Back in June, Groupon ran a deal for a cooking class at Mama Campisi's.  You may recognize the name of it as where Tony tackled the meatball challenge.  After talking about doing the challenge for two years, he decided that he just HAD to do it the night before we did the cooking class. Anyway, before 8 a.m., both Tony and Jean had mentioned wanting to take the class, so I bought it.  We selected a date from the 8 options, and purchased the Groupons.  Now, anyone that knows me knows that I have cooked less than 10 times in my entire life.

I was actually a little excited about it.  I thought that it would be fun, and my lack of skills could provide some entertainment!  Unfortunately, this was not at all what we were expecting.  For starters, there were 50 people crammed into a much too small room.  They had it set up with with 5 tables and 10 people to each table.  We managed to grab 3 seats at a table.  Everyone was packed in like sardines with zero elbow room.  You had to do a tap dance with the table next to you to get the chairs in and out!

At the end of each table, they had a large round table.  The ingredients for the lasagna dish were set out on top.  When we picked the class, they didn't specify what we would be cooking.  I was hoping for their signature dish pollo spedini which is amazing.  The 10 people at the table worked together to assemble the lasagna.  It was a little ridiculous - 10 people working on a 7 ingredient dish.  It wasn't even made with the traditional lasagna noodles -  these were one size that fit the entire pan.  You didn't even have to assemble the lasagna noodles!  Even though 3 people at our table were left out of the process completely, I did manage to do some "cooking."  I was in charge of adding the parmesan cheese to each layer.  If I do say so myself, I did an excellent job!

Once we were finished, they took our dishes away to cook.  While they were in the oven, we enjoyed a delicious bruschetta and listened to stories about the Italian history of The Hill here in St. Louis.  Our dishes were returned to us about half an hour later.  Even though it wasn't what we were expecting, we all had a good time!  Plus, the lasagna was absolutely delicious.  I'm not a huge fan of lasagna, but this was quite yummy!

Tony vs. the 2lb Meatball

Not long after we moved here, Tony made a list of the food challenges that he wanted to tackle in the city.  At the top of the list was the Mama Campisi's two pound meatball challenge.  It's advertised as a meatball challenge, but the real issue is trying to eat the enormous amount of spaghetti that comes with it!

Pictured above is the plate as it arrived at our table.  I have to say that in many ways, this was more embarrassing than when Tony participated in and won the bratwurst eating contest at the Soulard Oktoberfest.  Then, I just faded into the crowd while I pretended not to know him.  Here, I had to sit at the table next to him while this was delivered!  Everyone was staring, people were walking over to look at it, and even taking pictures! 

There isn't a time limit for this, but this is his plate about an hour in to his eating festivities.  I have to say that Tony went into this with kind of a defeatist attitude.  He was like if I finish it, great, if not, then I have leftovers.  Bad attitude to bring to an eating challenge!

Tony with his plate when he decided to call it quits at the two and a half hour mark.  I know that it still looks like an amazing amount of food, but he ate all of the meatball and at least four large servings of spaghetti!  He even admits that he could have eaten more, but decided that he didn't want to be hurting for the rest of the night.

 Tony with his to go box.  Yeah, that wasn't embarrassing to walk out with or anything...

I refused to eat any of the leftovers, but he enjoyed them for a few more meals!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sugar and his new Baby Elephant

This post is really for my Mom as she misses Sugar very much.  We rarely ever purchase him toys since our house is filled with them.  Tony wins a lot of them out of crane machines, and my Mom is always sending Sugar new toys.  I couldn't pass up this adorable little elephant though, so I bought it.  And then proceeded to get angry when Sugar wouldn't play with it for the first couple of days!  Tony took some video of him and Sugar playing with it after I went to bed to make me happy.

*Disclaimer - Tony has already been informed that he was holding the phone the wrong way to record video.  He promises not to make the same mistake again.