I was invited to attend a class recently that really aligns with my way of thinking. Being an advocate of cooking at home and slowing down to enjoy the food you prepare, I was thrilled when Cooking Thyme, a local cooking school, invited me to attend their Thanksgiving class. Inspiring people to cook at home, eating healthy food with their families is one of the goals of this website. Not only does home cooking taste better, it can save lots of money in a monthly budget. Cooking is a skill that once you learn, you carry it with you.
Cooking Thyme has a very similar philosophy. The classes are all conducted in the lovely home of its owner, Joan Browning. Joan’s kitchen, which was built by her husband, is set-up for a crowd and was designed with the school in mind. There’s lots of space for cooking and plenty of light. Joan and I both share a strong belief in families cooking together, eating dinner together, and fresh ingredients. She exudes this belief in both her home and her attitude about meal preparation.
Cooking Thyme has a series of classes called First Tuesday Cooking Club. For this once-a-month class, you prepare a meal from start to finish and then you get to eat the meal with Joan and the other class participants. The sharing takes place in Joan’s dining room and it was decorated for our wonderful harvest meal. This series of classes is just like a book club meeting, only there’s no book.
The center piece of the table was harvest themed as well.
Here’s the menu from our First Tuesday Cooking Club
- Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
- Classic Turkey Gravy
- Spinach Gratin
- Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes
- Perfect Pie Crust
- Apple Filling for the Perfect Pie
Here are a few of Cooking Thyme’s Tips
- Everything needs a garnish. This is where Joan’s attention to detail really shows. I love how her platter of turkey breast had fresh herbs and lemons. Simple and inexpensive and yet so pretty.
- Another great tip I learned was to peel onions and soak them in a bowl of water before you chop them. This really helped keep all eyes dry while chopping. Peel all dry, outer layers, place in bowl and fill bowl with water. It worked like a charm.
- Joan says, “It’s good to have one thing that works.” Have a plan like the “The Golden Formula” for gravy. It’s a formula you follow and has quick fix suggestions when things don’t go as planned.
- Brush egg white on the bottom of fruit pie crust before you put the fruit into the pan. This keeps the bottom of the pie crust from getting soggy. I also liked how Joan used her pizza cutter to make pie dough braids. Notice how she left the top of the pie dough connected? Leave the top end connected.
And, yes, this was our dessert that we ate at the end of our meal.
Joan is a recently retired home economics teacher so you’ll be assigned homework. The assignments are to prepare the food you make in her class at your home and share with your family. That’s the type of homework I love! There are classes for both adults and children.
Cooking Thyme has a blog, too. You’ll find it here.