JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Be a better cook in your own time, in your own home: Cordon Bleu Cookery Course revisited

Do you Freecycle? Changing the world one gift at a time - local email groups, you give away stuff, and pick stuff up, no money changing hands. It's a REALLY good idea. I've been doing it for ages, and have got rid of lots of not-quite-complete-junk, and also acquired one or two things I wanted but didn't want to spend money on - a windsurfer for a group of teenagers to learn on while on their first solo holiday together. And, yesterday, ALL 72 of the 60s cookery part-work that was de rigeur in every middle class home: Cordon Bleu Cookery Course.

Everything about the cookery course takes me back to my teenage years: the photographs of women in beehive hairdos and brightly coloured clothing, the patterned crockery, and, above all, the sense of discovering anew that food could be enjoyable to cook and to eat, that it wasn't just fuel. My stepmother - a very good cook - subscribed to it, and I suppose it taught her to cook. She was certainly one of the people who taught me to cook; and leafing through it, much is familiar, so that, although I don't remember reading it, I think I must have done. Proof at last: I'm a lifelong foodie, a foodie before the word even existed!

The course covers every aspect of cooking: how to make stock, puff pastry, British regional specialities (lots of rather stodgy pies and puddings), a little Italian or Chinese, weekly menus. I'm almost tempted to have my own Julie/Julia moment, and cook my way through the whole lot, but there doesn't seem to be much thought for cholesterol levels or superfoods.

Thanks Jill in Woodcote ...

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