Food For Thought: Take My (Cooking) Advice – I'm Not Using It

Feb 15, 2017

When I asked Nancy Leson about the cooking classes she's been teaching she said, "The more I teach, the more I learn – especially from my students." 

Yeah, yeah, all the teachers say that. 

"So what have you learned lately?" I challenged her.

"A couple of weeks ago I was showing a class how to peel ginger using a teaspoon.  I mentioned that I usually use a paring knife, and one student asked 'Why don't you just use a vegetable peeler?'  So I grabbed a knob of un-peeled ginger and  a vegetable peeler and that works really well, too."

I gleefully told her that I've never used anything but a cheap Ecko vegetable peeler to peel ginger.  It's way easier than scraping with a teaspoon and better able to follow the ginger's knobby contours than a paring knife.

Nance recently decided that if she was going to teach classes she ought to take a few. "And I learned that yeah, you can teach an old dog new tricks."  Not going near that line I asked her what she'd picked up.

At a Thai cooking course taught by Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen, Nancy discovered the convenient practice of pre-bagging and freezing specific ingredients for favorite recipes.  And, at a private class taught by cookbook author, memoirist, and former Seattleite Susan Herrmann Loomis, she learned the essential difference between French and Italian cooking. 

Loomis says "French cooking is all about technique.  Italian cooking is all about fun."   Sono d'accordo!

Susan Herrmann Loomis teaches la technique l'oignon.
Credit Nancy Leson

"I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember.  I do and I understand." – Confucius