If you happen to find yourself in Greenwood, a small town on the Mississippi Delta, it may because you are attending a cooking class at the Viking Cooking School. Of course, their very posh, beautiful kitchens feature Viking ovens.
The Viking Cooking School in Greenwood
Olivia Spencer as Minny
Hollywood came in 2010, when the town became the set for the movie "The Help." The film, which earned Olivia Spencer an Academy Award as best supporting actress, was shot almost entirely in Greenwood although the story actually takes place in Jackson, MI. If you go to Greenwood take a Help Tour showcasing sites such as Skeeter's home, the Courthouse, and Baptist Town over the railroad tracks.
currently boasts some upscale storefronts including the Alluvian Hotel (which owns and manages the Cooking School), but the Mississippi town struggles. Greenwood was once the Cotton Capital of the World and right outside town, you'll still find cotton fields. But, they don't pick the cotton by hand anymore. Actually a number of the old cotton fields now grow soybeans.
Viking Cooking School
Returning back downtown, I attended a demonstration at the Viking Cooking School featuring Caesar Salad, Jambalaya, and Chocolate Pie- minus the secret ingredient in Minny's pie, made rather infamous in the movie
While preparing the jambalaya, the instructor used a garlic press without peeling her garlic. It was large enough to handle multiple garlic cloves at once, another bonus. I was intrigued. So, rather unexpectedly, the most important lesson I gained from the class ended up being the new garlic press I purchased in the school's gift shop.
Garject Garlic Press
I brought it home and immediately wanted to make something garlicky. I've recently grown to like kale, so I sauteed up some onions and garlic, then added the kale and a bit of broth.
Jambalaya & Salad
Sure enough the gadget worked like a gem. My new stainless steel "Garject" pressed unpeeled garlic, scraped itself clean and even ejected the peel. You simply push the 'peel eject' button and it shoots the peel off. While not inexpensive at $34.95, the tool seems well worth the price. No more smelly fingers from peeling garlic or picking the skin out of the press and the Garject is also dishwasher safe on the top rack.
The Garject Garlic Press
The company manufacturer, Dreamfarm from Albion, Australia, should also be congratulated for being green-minded. The packaging box was designed for easy recycling and included a reminder to do so.
A visit to Greenwood and the Viking Cooking School are memorable, but you've got to get yourself a Garject.