The COOK (Community Operated Open Kitchen) program has been going on for just about two years now, starting off seasonally and now moving to monthly. It is organized by a group of people in the community who wanted to share their cooking skills.
The goal of the program is to teach people how to cook things that are nutritional and inexpensive. Don't think of it as a formal classroom though. In COOK, you are going to get your hands into things and actually prepare the food yourself. Last Thursday, June 7, wonton soup was on the menu.
The session reminded me of culinary school to a degree, in that it was about more than just watching someone make a dish. You are making it yourself, which is important. However almost of more importance I think is you get to ask questions.
I learned for instance to keep a wonton from unraveling in the pot, you use an egg wash around the edges of the wrapper before folding it together. I had always used just a little water in the past, which was less than successful.
Getting together with others to cook is also about sharing your own skills with others too. If a recipe is similar to one you have created in the past, you can share the different techniques you use.
In a typical recipe book, they give you the recipe and that's about it. Few talk about ways you can modify it yourself, and fewer still explain why a recipe has to be done the way they lay out.
Though it may not be an implicit goal of the COOK program, it certainly is a by-product of getting that many people with an interest in food in the same room. Some people were interested in making the wonton soup vegetarian for example, and our teacher Nalom shared a few ways to modify the ingredients.
At the end of the lesson you get to try what you've made, which is of course the most important part.
I recommend you check out the COOK program if you have the time. If you are a beginner cook, it is a great way to start learning. If you want to learn something new, going to the COOK session will broaden your horizons. And even if you've been cooking for a while, it's a fun get together in the kitchen to make something tasty.
The COOK program takes place the first Thursday of every month at Trinity Anglican Hall. Pre-registration is required, in order to make sure enough ingredients are bought. Each serving you would like to take home is $1 a piece, which is to cover the costs
Posters can be found around Liverpool promoting the next event, and can be signed up for on Facebook or by calling Celeste Johnson at 947-2550. The next session's theme will be wraps