Friday, October 2, 2009

Introduction to Practical Cooking

I went back and checked prices on yesterday's off-shore cooking schools and wow! Try $2,900 or $4,995 per person! That's serious money!

Naturally, my very next thought was: How can I get me some of it? No reason I couldn't teach a simple cooking class. I began thinking of a curriculum ...

Pork Roast and a Movie -- Put the roast in a pan with a tight-fitting lid, set the oven at 300, put the pan in the oven and take off for three hours.

Classic Sauces -- Why spend all afternoon making a complicated sauce when you can buy a jar of it. Field trip to Trader Joe's.

Know What's in Season and Cook It! Field trip to Hermosa Beach Farmer's Market; demonstration with "simple veggies" - corn on the cob, steamed asparagus and more!

Perfect French fries Every Time -- Buy any brand of frozen fries that you like -- and follow the directions on the bag! French fry type optional.

Creating Dinner Menus -- decide on an appetizer, based on the cuisine you'll be serving. Taco Bar? Salsa! Lasagne? miniature frozen pizzas! See how easy that was? Lecture: appetizer aisles at Trader Joe's. Hand-out: maps.

Proper Service Order - appetizer, main course, salad, cheeses, dessert, nuts. Discussion: "Salad is a palate refresher, not an accompaniment to the main course"

Setting Your Menus Apart -- type up the menu (date and time at the top) and then do little sketches appropriate to either the holiday or the occasion. Optional: drawing classes.

Wine Appreciation - Meet in the Bev-Mo parking lot, Manhattan Beach. Bring white and red wine stemware and napkins.

Now that you've read and learned, donations to the cook are always acceptable. Look at the money you saved by staying at home!

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