Karen Lee Cooking Classes

September 8th, 2014 § 0 comments

Last night, HG made a room temperature Chinese sauce of peanut butter, tea, soya, vinegar, chopped Szechuan preserved vegetables, peanut and sesame oil, chopped garlic, Vietnamese chili garlic, chopped scallions. A lot of ingredients but very simple to prepare. BSK poached and shredded a chicken. Mixed the shredded chicken with the sauce. Surrounded the platter with arugula. HG filled a bowl with room temperature vermicelli mixed with the great peanut sauce and topped it with slivers of cold cucumber. Poured some Gahan India Pale Ale (brewed on Prince Edward Island) and had a great warm weather meal. This brought back memories of cooking teacher/caterer/author Karen Lee and the class where HG and BSK learned to make this dish (and other savory Chinese treats). Many, many decades ago HG and BSK attended Lee’s classes which she held in her small Upper West Side apartment. Ms. Lee was going through some trying times then but her teaching was superb. Clear. Helpful. And the food (which the class ate with gusto) was delicious. HG/BSK’s classmates included the actor Peter Boyle (“Young Frankenstein”, “Joe”, “Taxi Driver”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”) and his wife, Loraine Alterman (she was a reporter for Rolling Stone and John Lennon was the best man at her wedding to Peter); actress Verna Bloom (“Animal House,” “High Plains Drifter”; Stephanie Pierson, the brilliantly witty advertising copywriter, author of many books (“The Brisket Book” is the latest) and long time HG/BSK pal. The class was lively, funny and irreverent. Sadly, Peter Boyle is gone but the remaining cast thrives. Karen Lee’s West Side classes continue but now she’s added a summer session in Amagansett, Long Island. The lady (deservedly) flourishes.


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