May 15, 2007

I’m Keeping a Promise with Myself

For many, many years, I’ve been threatening to take a cooking class to improve my confidence in the kitchen…and if the class prevents me from poisoning myself, well, that would be a bonus.

Well, I’ve stopped threatening and I’m taking action. I’ve enrolled in a recreational fine cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education. For the next five weeks, I’ll be attending the class one night a week from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and learning about knife skills, sautéing, roasting, braising, grilling, and cooking shellfish.

As I prepare to embark on the first phase of Josh 2.0, I wonder what exactly I’ll take away from this class. After enrolling I started to wonder what it would take for me to think of this class as being successful and worthwhile. Maybe I’ll find some hidden talent that I didn’t know I had, or maybe I’ll fall in love with a food I wouldn’t normally find appetizing (like asparagus — yuck!), or a way of cooking that I didn’t understand. Maybe I’ll walk away with the confidence to not be intimidated by complicated recipes, or maybe I’ll have the ability to find something in a grocery store and be able to understand how to cook it and shop for sides without having to go home look up a recipe and go back to the store to pick everything up.

It wasn’t until today that I think I found a good line in the sand that will define whether the class was useful or not. If, after the class, you ask me what the most important utensil is in my kitchen, and I don’t answer, “the fire extinguisher”, then it will have been a success.