It's a unique feeling to see your home being used for the things you intended for it to be used for so long ago. This past weekend we hosted a cooking retreat with Marcia Smart of Smart In The Kitchen, welcoming in guests for a weekend of learning new recipes and cooking techniques, then sitting down to enjoy the fruits of their labor together. As I sat on the couch and looked into the kitchen, my mind went back to 2016 when I walked around the then garage, pointing to the open space outside where I was envisioning our kitchen going. That same space held our guests as they worked together to cook delicious meals, laughing as they went along with the biggest smiles on their faces. It was so rewarding to see our kitchen, the one we put so much thought and love into, as the background for a memorable weekend that created new friendships.
Once everyone was checked in to their rooms, we started the weekend with a quick tour and a trip to the local Farmer's Market. After grabbing some fresh veggies and yummy jams, we made our way back to the house to begin cooking lunch. I loved watching our guests learn new techniques and even learned a couple myself.... like how to roll up leafy herbs, like basil, then chop in a rocking motion to create beautiful garnish! Once we were all good and full from lunch we took some down time to go around the town, some ladies hung back at the house to lounge, some decided to grab a glass of wine at Prost, and I headed over to Royer's Pie Haven with my team members for a slice of pie and a cup of coffee!
Soon it was time for the dinner lesson, but not before we all had a good cocktail. Marcia showed us how to make a delicious Paloma made with equal parts tequila and fresh grapefruit juice, a splash of lime juice and topped off with Pelligrino. With drinks in hand, guests made their way to Boho's kitchen for the dinner lesson - delicious spice rubbed chicken thighs, cooked over sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts, with a blueberry spinach salad on the side. For dessert we whipped up a flourless chocolate tart covered with raspberries, talk about yum!
As we sat around the dinner table and toasted to the day, something special began to take place. Guests were sharing their stories and what mattered the most to them, I saw new connections being formed and friendships getting stronger. My heart is so full of joy from this weekend, and I could not be more grateful to our guests and Marcia for helping us fill our home with laughter and love.
Guests ended the weekend with a breakfast lesson in the morning and walked away with their goodie bags in tow. Each bag was included Chameleon Cold Brew, a candle from P.F. Candle Co., Kitchen Matters Cookbook by Pamela Salzman, a bottle of Old Country Olive Oil, a Smart In The Kitchen Apron and a folder of all the weekend's recipes packed into one of our RVT Totes!
We are counting down the days until we can host our next cooking retreat with Marcia, and if you haven't already, sign up for our newsletter so you can be the first to hear about upcoming retreats and events! We had quite the waitlist for this past retreat so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for the next announcement. Thank you to all of our guests who attended, and to Marcia for being such a gracious teacher and co-host! If you're interested in hosting a retreat of your own - feel free to contact us by emailin firstname.lastname@example.org!