Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn

Subtitle: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

Published: 2011

Genre: nonfiction cooking

Length: 263 pages of story, 285 total

Setting: Seattle, present day

Interest: A friend recommended it to me a while back and I’m trying to read some of the older books on my reading list.

Summary: Flinn is inspired by a random stranger in a grocery store to start a class to teach people confidence in the kitchen. Every class she, or a guest chef teaches a new technique and then has the women practice the technique on real food. Skills include everything from using a knife to making break to cutting up a chicken to using leftovers and more. We also get to see how the women in the class used to eat and “cook” and how they changed after the class.

Final thoughts: This is the kind of book that makes me want to cook everything discussed in the book. Each chapter ends with a recipe so it’s possible to make several of the meals discussed. The author just wants people to have more confidence in the kitchen and be willing to cook things. Home-cooked food is so much better than prepacked stuff (some of which I have a hard time even considering to be food) in terms of cost, flavor, and nutrition. It often doesn’t take that much more time to make, just a little planning ahead, particularly if you’re good with leftovers.

One of the activities Flinn did with her class was tastings of different brands of an item, like pasta brands or salt types. I love the idea and would love to do it in our family. It might be hard to do with multiple brands, but we could at least by two different brands if the recipe calls for two cans of something and then decide which brand is better. Now, I just need to get my husband to agree to the plan.

One takeaway from the book that amazed me what how little some people can do in the kitchen. I’m fairly certain my kids can do more in the kitchen than some of the adults who took Flinn’s class. (For example, the kids will be making me a birthday cake today, from scratch. As Flinn pointed out, it’s not that much harder than using a cake mix.) That’s mostly because my husband and I cook and bake regularly and make an effort to teach the kids. Even so, I think the kids should be included more in the kitchen activities so they can make real food when they grow up and not have to rely on what’s in packages for nutrition.

Title comes from: The lessons the author gives to a group of women.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 26/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge, and an F in my Author Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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