A Royal Weekend at King Arthur
It’s not everyday that one gets to go to Camelot…that’s what my dear friend Maggie called it when I posted that I was teaching at the King Arthur Baking School in the Skagit Valley in Washington State. The baking school has two US locations; one at the “mothership” in Vermont (where I hope to visit one day) and the other in Burlington, WA. To say that I had a royal weekend at King Arthur is putting it mildly.
The pie making sessions that I would be leading as a guest instructor were Friday night and Saturday. I left Pie Cottage early Friday morning in time to drive to Port Townsend (and hour away). From there I drove onto the ferry bound for Coupeville on Whidbey Island. I got to PT (as we locals call it) about an hour early, took a walk through town and down to the docks where the Wooden Boat Festival was just opening for the weekend. It brought back many memories of taking part in the festival when my wuzband and I had a wooden boat that we sailed to PT for the festival when Duncan was about six. Our little family crew all wore matching plaid flannel shirts, and enjoyed talking to people about our classic Herreshoff boat. A gust of wind even helped us to win the afternoon race!
I walked back to ferry dock, picked up a coffee on the way, and waited for the boat to arrive. Once on Whidbey Island, I turned left, crossed Deception Pass, passed by Anacortes, and finally arrived at The King Arthur Baking School!
It had started raining the evening before I left and continued off and on for the entire time I was gone. The much needed rain, which you can see bit of drizzling down in the photo, was a wonderful welcome as we have had smoke filled skies and poor air quality due to the many monstrous fires in the western states.
Friday night was all about apple pie. I made two big ones before class to share. The filling included some apples and a quince that I picked from my own trees. Here’s Chef Jenn, who manages the KAF Baking School in Washington, slipping them into the oven.
And here they are ready to come out!
Now, I have to tell you that the oven at the school is simply amazing. It was so big that you could stand up in it, but please don’t! The rack rolls right into it and then rotates round and round during the bake. I couldn’t believe it! You can see me in this Facebook live clip oohing and aahing over it and showing off the beautiful teaching classroom.
After the Friday night session, Chef Jenn and I grabbed a delicious dinner in the sweet little town of La Conner.Then we said adieu so we could both get our beauty sleep and return for a session of blackberry pie baking in the morning. My alarm when off in time for me to take an early walk and then I headed back to the school.
Here’s the demonstration pie I made before class started with some thick and thin strips in a lattice top…
a photo from the Friday night just before class started and those lovely big ovens in the background…
and a picture of me hopefully saying something that turned out to be useful.
The pies turned out just beautifully.
Tired but very happy, I retraced my journey, and arrived home where I spent the rest of the evening thinking about how lucky I am to be able to have such a wonderful “job”! A big thanks to Chef Jenn, Leah, and Julia (not pictured) for making my time at Camelot simply wonderful! I hope our paths, like good lattice strips, will cross again.