First of all you might ask, "Why are you teaching cooking classes?" Well, I'm passionate about food, that's why. Everything about food is interesting to me, from looking at the seed catalogues in the dreary winter months and dreaming of the beautiful garden that I hope to produce in July, to the chopping of ingredients to toss in a soup pot for dinner. And everything in between ; planning meals, shopping for ingredients, testing new recipes, extending hospitality around the table, food related travel and of course eating!
I can lose hours reading food blogs and magazines, and I approach cookbooks as others read novels. I like to challenge myself to make new things. Last summer when the asparagus was coming in, I made hollandaise sauce for three days in a row, until I had perfected the sauce to have on my Eggs Benedict. That gave me the chance to practice my poaching skills as well. My latest food challenge was making the delicate macaron cookie for Valentine's Day. I watched a friend make them and did a lot of my own research. It took two attempts on successive days to accomplish that one. No wonder they cost as much as they do in the bakery. They are a lot of work! But so beautiful.
I'm not a trained professional. I'm a homemaker who hails from a long line of great southern cooks, who has learned through hours of experience how to cook and bake delicious food that warms hearts and tummies. My kitchen is my happy place and a natural place for people to gather when they're in our home.
Families are incredibly busy and too often there isn't enough time to prepare food and sit down around tables to be nourished. I feel concerned when I hear young people talk about eating in restaurants three or four nights a week, or opening cans and boxes to heat for dinner. I love a great restaurant meal, but I don't think we should rely on them to feed our families. And making food from scratch is not as hard or time consuming as one would think, and is so much healthier. Learning how to eat locally and seasonally means you're eating food when it tastes its very best and putting your money into your community by supporting local farmers. It's a win win situation!
And can we just talk about food memories for a second? I bet you have some. My nana made country breakfasts that would stick to your ribs all day. I would love to know how many pans of homemade biscuits that woman made in her lifetime. She always sent visitors on their way with food from her kitchen. She had a garden just steps from the back door and I learned to can vegetables and make jams and jellies by her side. My grandma cooked dinner every night and I was at her table for many of them. I snitched bites of fried okra, hot from the grease and her fried chicken was the hit of many picnics. Her Poundcakes were famous in her hometown. When my grandpa worked as a fireman at the firestation, and had overnight shifts, she would make dinner and pack it into a picnic basket. We would all go to the fire station and have dinner with grandpa. It would've never occurred to her to not eat dinner as a family, or pick up take out on the way. However, I do have fond memories of an occasional KFC night, which grandpa enjoyed. Every cook needs a break sometimes, right? My mom was an exceptional cook and baker and had her own bakeshop at one time, where she decorated cakes for lots of weddings and special occasions. I learned how to cook by just hanging out in the kitchen. One thing I know for sure, is that I picked up my appetite and love for yummy food from her! Looking back, I recognize that food was a big part of our family culture and I've carried that on. I'm grateful that sitting down and having meals as a family was "just what we did". Without even trying, we are often building memories with our loved ones that are associated with food, that years later will be fondly remembered and will warm their hearts.
These are all good reasons to hone our skills in the kitchen. If you'd like to learn to be a better cook or baker, get new ideas for meals, learn what's in season and how to cook it, and have fun with likeminded friends, taking a cooking class might be for you. I want to be your cooking
coach, encouraging you to try new things and gain confidence in the kitchen. My classes are intentionally small, so we have room to move around and work together. I learn best by "doing", so that's how I teach.
I have tons of ideas for upcoming classes, but would love to hear what you would like to learn.
Come join me and let's cook!