The last time I took a cooking lesson was in grade 9 home economics. I remember how to make brownies…and that’s about it.
I’ve always thought about taking a cooking class, so my dinners could consist of something other than bag salad and toast, but the older you get the less likely you are of getting in front of strangers and basically admitting that if you had children, they would be deficient in everything but Dempster’s. But this week I decided to take the plunge.
I went to a cooking class lead by a chef of a Brazilian steakhouse in Calgary, Pampa. Besides learning that I could never hack it on Master Chef, I learned the following:
It’s very easy to cut off your fingers while cooking.
The knives I have in my house are from IKEA circa 2004, so they cut as well as a fork, but I guess there are knives out there that can cut through bones. Holding the stuff that you’re cutting a certain way will prevent you from cutting off your fingers…unless you are me, then it will prevent you from cutting off your fingers, but not from slicing through your laytex gloves.
Sharp knives are good, but I shouldn’t be allowed to use them.
The chef’s assistant stealthily took away my cutting board after I failed test #1 and I never got it back. Probably for the best, big knives scare me. However, the same guy that took away my cutting board also ran into a door later. I may not be able to cut things, but at least I can walk.
You can set your cutting board to your counter.
Did anyone else know this? They did not teach us this in HomeEc. Put damp paper towel on the counter under the cutting board and it will prevent it from moving around. GENIUS.
Whipping cream will turn into butter if you mix it for too long.
I DID know this. What I didn’t know was if you over whip the whipping cream you are supposed to throw it out and start over again. That seems wasteful, I have definitely never done that.
If you screw up, you can start again.
They say this like I am going to have ten thousand backup ingredients to replace the ones that I just ruined. Because that will never be the case, if you come to my house and I am cooking you dinner, note that you are getting my first and only shot and whatever you are eating.
You need a variety of mixers, blenders and food processors to make anything good.
Every dish that we made included the need of some sort of high end food mixer. I have a Kitchen Aid, but that’s it. (Before you get too excited about me having a super expensive mixer, note that I got it from my Grandparents when I was 25 as a “We bought this to give to you for a wedding present, but we don’t really see that happening for you any time soon, so please take this off our hands as it’s taking up too much room in our basement” present.)
I think I probably took away a little more than that, but those are the big things. Basically, I need to take more than just a two hour course to be able to properly feed anyone. For now I’ll stick with dining out and my toaster.
For more information about Pampa’s cooking classes go here.