Friends, you all know I am a gal who likes her food. I have been pretty clear about that right? Well, while I love to eat I also like to cook…I am just not very good at it. Not yet, anyway. However, I take solace in knowing that Julia Child didn’t go to culinary school until her forties, which means there is still time for me to learn my way around a kitchen. Not wanting to make haste, I decided to sign myself up for a cooking class at The Culinary Center of Kansas City.
Many of their classes are in the evening or on the weekends when I have shows, but I was lucky to come across one taking place on a Friday afternoon called All Hands For Hunger: A Cooking Party with a Purpose.
Sign. Me. Up.
Here was the cool part:
The gist of the class was this: A cooking class where you learn new skills and prepare dishes to be sent to local food banks and charitable organizations. This year our dishes were going to be sent to The Ronald McDonald House, Lazarus Ministries, and one other whose name I didn’t get because I am clearly a negligent individual. Regardless, it was cool knowing the food we labored over would be given to people who needed it during a season where “want is deeply felt.”
We prepared two recipes: A Tuscan Bean soup and an Apple Crisp. Both recipes were pretty straightforward and easily duplicated in ones kitchen at home. The Tuscan Soup was loaded with great northern white beans, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, carrots, peppers and onions. Oh and bacon…everything is made better with the bacon. One the bacon crisps at the bottom of your pot you throw in everything but the beans and let the veggies soften. After about ten minutes you add the beans, crushed tomatoes, some water and that’s pretty much it. Simple, but flavorful and very hearty. The apple crisp involved ten cored and peeled apples and lemon juice, topped with a crumble composed of brown sugar, butter, oats and flour.
Once cooked we packed them all up and labeled them with some kind words and good cheer.
Cooking for people in need is certainly very cool.
Here is the part that wasn’t cool:
We didn’t learn anything. By this I mean there was no instruction of any kind whatsoever. They basically welcomed us, gave us recipes and had us cook. Now these dishes weren’t complex but certainly some knife skills could have been taught? Maybe a little lecture on how to create some different types of stews, how to develop flavor… something?!? I appreciate the good intentions which went into putting this class together but to pay sixty-five dollars to cook two dishes which I certainly could have cooked from my own home? Not so cool.
The best laid plans…
Despite the disappointment with the class, I truly am happy knowing that some deserving charities will be receiving some fresh, stomach warming food for the holidays. Even if it was made with a dash of annoyance.