What I learned from a cooking class (that has nothing to do with food)

Recently, I signed up for a Thai cooking class hosted at a friend’s house. I needed a break from the routine, not to mention Thai takeout was taking out a sizeable chunk of our budget. So I figured, “Why not?”

Fifteen moms gathered at a friend’s place.  More precisely, fifteen white moms being taught Thai cooking by another white mom. Wow, this is going to be super authentic, I thought.

But I settled down with my lemongrass coconut martini for some lighthearted conversation and possibly a few tips. (On that note, that cocktail was so good I gulped it down in a few sips. I gulped it down in a few sips. Oh, did I say that already? I’m told that’s what a really good cocktail does to you.)

Maybe my forgetfulness is due to the fact that I’m usually a teetotaler. I’ve always thought that should be spelled TEAtotaler. Except, in my case it would be a coffeetotaler.

But I digress…

At the end of four hours of watching, smelling, assembling and eating, I was blown away by our teacher. I was taking notes and day dreaming of impressing friends with my killer Pad Thai.

But, I also took away some pointers that extend beyond cooking. Especially, about doing something out of the ordinary.

Take a tip from Taylor Swift

Ya know, shake it up.

See where it takes you when your regular gets a little rattled.

Galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, rice paper wraps – all of it was very foreign to me. And, guess what, in that group, I was as foreign as they come. I was the double-shot latte in the frapp world, the caramel in the vanilla ice-cream. (Food analogies – why do they come so naturally to me?)

But, getting back to the class, bewildering is good. It gets your creative juices flowing. It shakes you out of your chicken nugget rut.

Personally, it made me want to put pen to paper, invest in a cocktail shaker and buy a ticket to Thailand.


Need to Thai my hand at that 😉

Remember, there are others in the same boat

Whenever you’re tackling the unknown, remember the expert was a novice at some point. And many of us are still figuring out the stern of the boat from the bow.

The fifteen of us stuffed our faces and didn’t judge each other’s salad roll assembling techniques (Just between you and me, though, mine was the best).

We asked dumb questions. We failed miserably at pronouncing unpronounceable Thai brand names. We’ll probably be like the Lost cast wandering the mysterious isles/ aisles of the Asian supermarket. But being able to laugh at your inexperience with others is a great way to learn.

If at first you don’t succeed…

You’re running about average.

You can’t become a great cook overnight. Bobby Flay didn’t become a celebrity chef by thinking about it. He became a chef by cooking. (Food Network helped with the celebrity part of it.)

I can’t meet my goals by merely thinking about them. It usually requires a time commitment, hard work and, sometimes, a really good chef’s knife


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