The satisfaction of eating a delicious, home-cooked meal is rivaled only by the joy of taking a post-meal nap in the hammock you wove from the leftovers. Weave new recipes into your repertoire with today’s Groupon: for $40, you get a Cooking Essentials class for two at Old Town Cooking School in Pasadena (an $80 value). Classes are scheduled twice a month on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
With 30 years of high-quality home cooking beneath her belt, owner and chef Deb Swartz crams studious brains with recipes for seasonal delights in succinct demonstration classes that pepper tongues with sample tastings of a complete meal’s worth of recipes. Hosting 30 students each, the Cooking Essentials series fills Sunday afternoons with simple home recipes based around versatile techniques such as broth making, meat braising, or meat praising, which boosts protein self-esteem with compliments written in butter. Attendees can register for the January 15 session on winter soups to discover the secrets behind simplified gumbo or to craft a slurpable, sugary treat in the form of blueberry dessert soup. Alternatively, January 29’s session on winter fish dishes explores the methodology of seameats such as crab bisque or fish baked three ways.
The chef collects fresh and interesting ingredients for every class, seeking to enliven home kitchens with fine foods, new techniques, and a working knowledge of nutrition, including the devastating realization that cheese is not a vegetable.