Product Description: The author of The Sharper Your Knife tells the inspiring story of how she helped nine others find their inner cook.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, writer Kathleen Flinn returned with no idea what to do next, until one day at a supermarket she watched a woman loading her cart with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn's "chefternal" instinct kicked in: she persuaded the stranger to reload with fresh foods, offering her simple recipes for healthy, easy meals.
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School includes practical, healthy tips that boost readers' culinary self-confidence, and strategies to get the most from their grocery dollar, and simple recipes that get readers cooking.
My take: Kathleen begins the book by stalking a woman in the grocery store. Maybe a little creepy but her heart is pure. She notices a woman with an inordinate amount of boxed and canned goods. Having recently graduated from the prestigious culinary arts institute in France, she could not, in good conscience, allow this woman to believe MSG and high doses of sodium were part of the food pyramid. She intervened. She took the woman to the butcher and asked him to demonstrate how to debone a whole chicken. She explained how to cook with fruits and vegetables in season. This continued for 30 minutes and saved the woman money. From that interaction an idea was born and so was her cooking school.
Although the chapters are written in story-form, I read the first chapter, skimmed the book then went straight to breads and pastas. Not because I'm Italian but because I love bread and my tomatoes are ripe on the vine.
What Kathleen does is teach technique then hands the ingredients to the students. With the Pomodoro sauce, Kathleen put out ingredients, demonstrated the technique then encouraged her students to be creative. Turns out it's not as much like Chemistry lab as I might have thought. Nothing exploded when I dropped a few garlic cloves in the olive oil, smushed up my Roma tomatoes, added Anneheim peppers and fresh basil from my sister's garden. The Italian cooking police did not arrest me when I added frozen Parmasan cheese. My husband loved it, two of my four children refused to eat it which is 25% better than usual and they had to get their own cold cereal and missed out on a culinary party in the mouth. Ha.
Technique, demonstration, ingredients, add your own flair. It works.
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