Lois Stoffle: Cooking class fun
November 13, 2015
To the editor:
I recently signed up to take a "Cooking Class." I've been married almost 55 years, have cooked literally thousand of meals for family and friends, but found it difficult to cook for one! And so, when the Senior Social Center was offering a "Cooking Class for One or Two," I thought I'd give it a try. Didn't really expect to learn much, figured it might help me cut down on portions and preparation time in the kitchen, but I was in for a very pleasant surprise! There is always something new to be learned and our instructor, Nancy Loughran, was up to the challenge. For our first class, she emphasized safety in the kitchen, not only with utensils (knives and such) but with checking for expiration dates, dents in can goods and cleaning techniques. We also had a tasting of 12 different varieties of apples! Didn't realize there were that many of them. We made baked apples in the microwave; made various dips to serve with apples and other fruits and made crepes to fill with any of the sweet creamy dips along with fresh strawberries and bananas. Needless to say, our lunch was delicious!
This past week, Nancy again stressed safety by telling us to never boil water in the microwave! When the water is boiling, for even a short period of time, it has so much energy that it can cause its container to explode, pop the door of the microwave open and possibly severely burn someone. Always put something in the cup or bowl before you heat water or any liquid in the microwave. (i.e. Drop your tea bag in before you heat the water.) It may never have happened to you before but it is a real dangerous practice.
We made homemade chicken soup from scratch. And we taste tested two varieties of store bought chicken broth-one generic and the other Swanson brand. Both were extremely salty, but the Swanson's had the best flavor. We then took our recipes for Chicken Tortilla soup, chicken and dumpling soup, chicken with spaetzle and chicken with egg noodles and proceeded to prepare them. Having a tasting party after cooking to determine the best one, was the fun part. Needless to say, all were delicious and we couldn't decide on the best! What we didn't eat for lunch, we divided up and took home for another meal. Can hardly wait for next week's class. We will be making various yeast breads and rolls!
I am so glad that I signed up for this class. The camaraderie of our group and instructor is great, and I am learning new techniques and shortcuts to use in my kitchen. I would encourage anyone to sign up for the next class to be held in January. Just call the Senior Social Center at 970-326-3188 for information on these classes and other fun stuff for Seniors.
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