Mardi Gras: Work up an appetite

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 05:54 PM.

PANAMA CITY — On Saturday morning at Somethin’s Cookin’, Hannelore Holland does what she does best: cook with friends.

The counter is lined with eight women sitting on barstools, from newcomers to longtime friends, while talk ranges from cooking tips to childhood memories of Cajun cuisine.

Hannelore sets up for the Mardi Gras Appetizers class, then points out a special seat she saved for me — behind the counter.

“I’m going to do the beignet dough first. The recipe can be cut in half, because it makes 60. … When you work with yeast, you really should use bread flour,” says Hannelore, who notes she prefers the King Arthur brand.

Yeast is dissolved in half cup of water, which must read between 105 and 115 degrees to rise.

“I have been baking bread since 1972,” Hannelore says, sticking her finger in the measuring cup. “Yeah, it’s ready.”

Mark Fisher and “Jud” Boss stand behind the counter as they observe. Mark, quick to wash a dish, says he hopes to find out what’s in store before he teaches his first cooking class Feb. 9 on the Green Egg cooking system.

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