Kathleen Flinn’s THE KITCHEN COUNTER COOKING SCHOOL (Viking Books, 2011) is a must for those who don’t have their kitchen balance. Flinn, a trained chef, got the idea one day in the grocery store to pass on her expertise to those less inclined or intuitive in the kitchen. She takes unskilled culinary women of all ages and different walks of lives and teaches these volunteer cooks the basics for how to prepare everyday meals.
When I started the book I was wishing I had been one of the lucky ones that were collected to be part of this experiment because I sure could use it. But as the weeks went by I became grateful to have had a front seat at the counter but in the wings and now I am able to return to the lessons over and over again in the book.
Definitely smack dab in the middle of the target audience that Flinn was seeking to reach with this book. So glad that bulls-eye was big enough for Viking Books to provide me with a copy and a giveaway + magnet to one lucky visitor. I have never loved the kitchen and truth be told I just have not spent much time there nor am I adventuresome either. Flinn’s cooking school has made me a more confident cook with the knowledge that not every dish is going to come out perfect and not everyone tastes things the same way.
Armed with that in mind I ran through several of the class exercises in my own kitchen as well as cooked up a number of the recipes. And you know what? I did pretty good.
These are some of the adventures in the kitchen I had, I learned the proper way to hold a knife from Chapter 4, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE KNIFE. Chapter 5, A MATTER OF TASTE certainly taught me much about the various oils. And I practiced the “Five Marvelous Ways to Cook Vegetables with “Flavor Splashes” at the end of the chapter.
I could go on and on but I will leave you with some of my favorite takeaway tips:
- salt will forever go in a bowl when I am cooking;
- vow to always have good knife with high carbon content in the kitchen;
- do more tasting when I cook;
- always measure flour for baking the in appropriate manner;
- no more rinsing the pasta.
These are some of the gems that stood out for me, but there are so many more and recipes to boot. If you would like to eligible to win a copy of THE KITCHEN COUNTER COOKING SCHOOL* leave a comment below and your favorite cooking tip so we all can learn.
*Contest open until Monday, October 31st. Winner will be chosen randomly and be notified by email. If winner fails to reply within three days a new winner to be randomly selected. Open to US residents only. Don’t forget to share email so I can find you.