A few weeks ago, the amazing Diane wrote a post about taking a pasta class, and it reminded me that it had been ages since I had taken a cooking class. A quick Google search netted lots of options in the area, so I called my best friend Katie (my favorite partner for trying new things), and we selected one and signed up. The class was this past Thursday night, and we had an awesome time. Here are a few reasons this experience is definitely Amanda Approved:
1. You can gain new skills.
If you read last week’s post about things I learned from Dad, you already know that the Cade family is big on learning how to do things. Taking a class is, of course, one of the easiest ways to learn or develop a skill. I’ve taken half a dozen cooking classes over the years, and each time I’ve walked away with something new, from how to properly use a pastry bag to how to quickly dice an onion. Most importantly, each time I’ve increased my confidence.
One of the participants in Thursday’s class was very apprehensive at the start, saying that she never cooks, is bad at cooking, and was only there because her sister wanted to go. By the end of the class, she had really come alive, exclaiming, “I can’t believe how easy this was!” It was awesome.
2. It’s a lot of fun.
A cooking class is a great place to find a roomful of positive people. Every instructor I’ve ever had has been engaged, enthusiastic, and invested in the class. The participants arrive with the expectation of getting involved and trying something new, so there’s an open-minded, “can do” attitude right from the start. For many people, cooking has a deep psychological resonance as a social/family activity, and that means we’re primed for a friendly, interactive experience. I’ve always found that conversation and teamwork comes easily during these classes.
Plus, you have the all-important achievement high that comes from accomplishing a new challenge (I talked more about this back in my escape room post). Each step towards creating your culinary masterpiece is a small achievement, especially if it involves something you haven’t previously mastered, all building towards a final, glorious moment of pride in your ultimate creation.
3. You get to eat great food.
I think these classes are a great value, because you get the instruction and the food. Depending on the class, you might take it home with you (usually the case for dessert classes) or have a meal right there with your classmates. The second option was the case at last week’s class, and I love that. Sharing meals with others is something I think is really important (one of the things I learned from Mom), and it’s awesome to celebrate the class’s accomplishments in the context of a social meal.
4. You should try this at home.
Katie and I left the class with a folder containing six detailed recipes for the evening, with added notes and tips from our instructors. Every class I’ve attended has emphasized that the goal is to be able to make the same food at home, and I’ve rarely had any difficulty doing so. Some of my favorite go-to recipes have come from cooking classes, like the Boston cream cupcakes I learned to make six years ago and still make all the time. I’ve already volunteered to bring a side dish and dessert to our next family dinner, because I fell in love with two of Thursday’s recipes and can’t wait to share them with my family.
Have you taken a cooking class, or another fun class? What other activities are worth trying?