Chop chop: Knife skills class with PCC Cooks

For years, my mom cringed whenever I sliced up an apple. Until I took Seppo Farrey's knife skills class last week, I had no idea why.

Now, I realize it's the crazy sawing method I'd somehow developed away from her watchful eye. While I'd protest that I was just fine at cutting fruit, inside I knew I needed help (and outside, my nicked fingertips agreed). That's how I found myself staring down a bowl of fresh produce at the PCC Greenlake classroom, chef's knife in hand, armed and dangerous.

This produce soon will become our prey.

Knife Skills is just one of the hundreds of PCC Cooks classes taught by skilled professionals each year. As Seppo launched into his talk, I wondered if I would leave able to chop as quickly as a chef, rat-a-tat-tatting across a cutting board. While I'm not quite that fast, I now can chop with speed, confidence and precision. I also can't stop. Each day I relish any chance to chop, slice, smash and dice. Who knew becoming my own sous chef could be so satisfying? Now I need to get my husband into a class!

Seppo demonstrates how to cut apart a whole chicken. Now I get it!

Lots of reading material to take home. One point that stuck: Don't try to catch a falling knife. It rarely ends well.

Now we're cookin'! Glad to finally know how to properly produce matchsticks and julienne.

Seppo and his team wisely put our handiwork to good use. We enjoyed a steamy Lemon Cilantro Chicken Soup that night.

Who knew there were so many ways to slice a potato? 

I left class knowing how to properly grip a knife, how to protect my other hand, how to cut a variety of shapes, how best to handle different types of produce, how to care for my cutting boards and knives and so on, knowledge that will serve me (and my dinnertable) well for a lifetime.

Many people tell me they dread cooking, not because of the time at the oven or stove, but because of the prepwork. By all means, get yourself to a knife class if you feel your skills could use improvement (we'll have several in our next round of PCC Cooks classes; registration opens March 29!). Now I go out of my way to find recipes with abundant produce, simply because it means more fun at the cutting board with my favorite knife, making meals that both taste and look delicious.


 

 

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