Monday, October 15, 2012
Taste Of Perkins 2012
We were very honored to be invited to Taste Of Perkins 2012 recently at the Perkins School For The Blind. Some readers may know that one of the characters in my novel, FILLED WITH NOTHING, is a teenager who attends the Perkins School. So, this was a particularly heartfelt invite.
After exploring the gorgeous 36 acre campus we began the evening learning about all of the technology that Perkins uses in their classrooms and with students. We had the opportunity to meet with teachers and volunteers and it was very inspirational to see how each and every one was so very passionate about their work and commitment.
We then enjoyed some drinks and passed appetizers as we chatted with friends and other attendees.
I met with Bill Winter, our gracious host, who had invited us to the event and gave us this amazing opportunity.
Next up it was time to get blindfolded and led into the tasting. The whole purpose of the event is to experience food and drink without the benefit of sight. It was not only fun, and a great ice-breaker for meeting other guests, but also offered some real insight into what it is like to be visually impaired.
After volunteers took our hands and led us to a tasting station (a lesson in trust) we sat and relaxed for a moment. The first thing we noticed is that how much louder the room instantly seemed to be. We were hyper aware of every noise and sound. We each had savory and sweet tastes to sample and I seemed to do pretty well on my guesses. What I surmised to be "some kind of a slightly lemony marshmallow" was actually a lemon vanilla toasted meringue. The Taiwan-style Soup Dumpling we pretty much both guessed correctly, although Dean picked up the spoon and tried to use it as a utensil, not knowing it was filled. The handling of food on the plate without the advantage of sight proved to be very challenging indeed and something we had never thought about before. We didn't know where anything really was on the plate and were feeling around trying to locate the food. Other bites included a ginger fried beet skewer with Japanese mayo. We guessed the beet right, of course, but failed to detect exactly what the ginger flavor was. Last was a salted caramel crakline truffle. We really didn't care what that one was because it was so delicious!
Guessing on the wine was far more complicated. We both guessed the first as a white, maybe rose but that was it. This Cranberry Blush by Plymouth Bay Winery was actually quite good. We knew the second was red and that's it. So much for our sophisticated wine palates!
Before leaving we had the chance to meet, chat and have a few laughs with Kimberly Mancini of Kim's Candy Buffet. Her all-green candy buffet was a nod toward the school color.
We each stocked up on a bag of Sixlets before heading off to the next event. It was a great night, really inspiring and enlightening. We can't wait to get back for a more extended tour and to learn much more about all of the cutting-edge, valuable work and study being done there. Thank you Perkins School!