Friday, October 7, 2011

100th Book: The Kitchen Counter Cooking School

I stumbled on this book while reading some other great reading blogs, and it looked like fun.  Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an egalley!  This is a book that I will probably buy, though.  It is chock full of simple ideas to take what looks like a hopeless dinner to something tasty and delicious with just a few simple staples from your cupboard.

The author, Kathleen Flinn, begins her 'cooking school' idea from an experience she has during grocery shopping.  Do you ever look in other people's baskets and carts, to see what they're buying?  I do, and so does Kathleen.  She sees a woman and her daughter carting around lots of boxes of prepackaged meals full of salt and unrecognizable ingredients.  She boldly steps up to this woman and gives her some tips on how to make healthy meals, and even takes her to the meat counter to have the butcher show the woman how to cut up a chicken.  So begins Kathleen's journey to teaching a group of women some simple kitchen techniques that will transform their eating habits. 

What I found so interesting about this book was how so many of the women she taught in her class had definite confidence issues from a lack of cooking skills.  Many of these issues stemmed from either a youth where they did not have mothers teaching them to cook, or relationships with men who did not support their efforts in cooking.  I was really taken aback by the effect this had on how these women saw themselves and food.  Kathleen's cooking school each week showed these women simple skills:  how to cut up a chicken, make soup, cook fish, and make simple loaves of bread at home.  As each class finished, the women's confidence grew by leaps and bounds, and they began to have a different relationship with their cooking and their kitchens.  

This book was fun, informative, and made me eager to clean out my cupboards and freezer.  It's all about putting together simple meals with what you have, and buying quality over quantity so you don't end up tossing food in the garbage.  I learned a lot from this book, and am excited to try some of the simple recipes in my own kitchen.  As someone who cooks every week, I will admit to having nights where it's just easier to order a pizza.  With Kathleen's book, now I know I can make some simple, healthy dishes with what I have at home.


  1. looks good, i have hit a reading dry spell, 3 weeks and counting, horrors really when i normally have a book done every other day...

    just want to mention that i got a new computer and have learned ie 9 is not compatible with blogspot in line comments, if you change to pop up all explorer 9 folks can comment, otherwise we are forced to use anon...


  2. me too... I have so many wonderful books at home, but I just can't get into them! I hope my love of reading comes back soon!

  3. Congrats on your 100th book!! Do you think my hubby would like this book. He's a good cook, and has taught himself a lot, but he's always looking for good ideas. Too you think it would be too girly for a guy? I have to agree that I am in that category of the women who are less confident in themselves b/c they can't cook. I never had anyone teach me, and I never thought you could learn once you left home. Maybe I should read the book instead of him.