Dawn's Reviews > The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
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's review
Nov 27, 2011

it was amazing
Read on November 27, 2011

First: I'll say this. I cook. I generally spend more time on the outer aisles of the supermarket than on the center ones. I already knew what braise means, and have done it fairly often. I make my own bread. Anyone looking at my blog knows this. I read and I cook and I have done both pretty much as far back as I can remember.

This book however is not for people like me.

This book is for that friend who is afraid of her own kitchen but wont admit it.

We all have them. Her kitchen is always pristine, down to having unstained, unscarred potholders, and a pretty bowl of those paper sphere things on the counter. And the only thing she can use in it is the microwave.

Now I happen to be of the opinion that anyone who claims they cant cook either doesn't want to, or hasn't really tried. And when I write up recipes I keep the terminology out of it. Probably the most technical word I use is "simmer" (which I tend to use interchangeably with "burble" which I think is quite descriptive of the state being described.). I've been told I have succeeded in making them "like you're right there telling me what to do", which is my aim.

Here, Kathleen Flinn succeeds at that on a level I can only aspire to. She addresses a lot of things I see over and over. Shopping carts filled with boxes and TV Dinners instead of veggies and cheeses. Folks living in drive through lanes "because it's faster" which it usually isn't if you think about how long the line is. How to hold a knife properly, and the fact that, despite what you tell baby, that knife probably isn't anywhere near sharp. Not properly sharp* anyway.

Flinn takes the scary out. She demystifies and reassures. What to do with a whole chicken. Why that recipe tasted so bland. That the stuff in that box, can or jar is cheaper if you make it yourself, and it's not usually terribly hard, or time consuming.

Seriously, I cant think of a better gift this Holiday Season** for the woman in your life who says "My mom can cook, but I cant" or "I should be eating better, but I don't have TIME". Wrap it up and give it to her with a good chef's knife and a thick wooden cutting board.

Just be warned. You might be in danger of having to eat food that doesn't have anything you cant pronounce in it.

*Pro Tip: If you have to push from the shoulder while cutting through anything but bone? Your knife is dull, and you're going to hurt yourself.

** Pro Tip: Spouses and boy/girlfriends shouldn't attempt this unless an interest in learning to cook has been expressed. Unless your really enjoy being cold-clocked with a cutting board because she wanted a bracelette.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Shauna You had me at "burble." Am looking up your blog forthwith.

Dawn Shauna wrote: "You had me at "burble." Am looking up your blog forthwith."

Acck, I would have to get caught out with my pants--- er my links down! Im right in the middle of a redesign! Check me out in a couple of days once I get the recipe index relinked, but in the meantime, enjoy poking around the blog!


Dawn Shauna wrote: "You had me at "burble." Am looking up your blog forthwith."

Actually I just fixed the links themselves. Tricksy little php imps...

Michelle Polk Other people have scarred potholders!?! Yeah! I have so many and have to shake my head every time I look at them!

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