Recently, I went to a cooking class. It was (mostly) a spur of the moment decision; I just grabbed one of my friends who was free for a few hours and went. I’m not quite brave enough to go alone yet, but maybe we’ll get there.
Background: I’m decent at cooking. I can follow a recipe pretty well since all you have to really do is follow the instructions, but sometimes I can get impatient. If I can cut corners, I will. If the recommended cooking time is 20-30 minutes, I’ll probably cook it for 19. Just enough to get by, but definitely not correct either. One time, I tried to halve a recipe for soup, put in the minimum amount of water, and after a while, I checked on the soup, and all the water had evaporated and the things inside were burnt. That’s right. I burnt soup.
So, I figured going to a cooking class could help me slow down a little bit and actually learn to cook things correctly. Plus, it’s fun to do with friends and you get to eat the food as you make it, and eat it later, so it’s a win on all sides.
In the class I went to, we were making some sort of pesto pasta dish, which I loved because that’s probably one of my favorite foods. Nothing amazing happened; I didn’t gain any life realizations while we cooked, but because I was in a class and there was an instructor, I was forced not to cut corners.
I actually cooked the pasta for the recommended amount of time, I didn’t try to skimp out on any ingredients (they weren’t mine anyway), and I made good pasta. I even learned how to properly use a knife for the time I was there, and then promptly forgot this skill after the class.
People would say that this is forcing me to “stop and smell the roses,” but I don’t really think so; I didn’t slow down to appreciate the experience. I didn’t slow down and smell the pesto or really appreciate the pasta.
I just slowed down to do it properly and learn how to be more patient when I cook. Sometimes, it can just be as simple as that. There doesn’t have to be an underlying motive or lesson. It can just be learning something that you didn’t know or practice before.
I’m not saying that slowing down to appreciate the experience is a bad thing, but it doesn’t always have to be the goal of slowing down. If anything, that’s the lesson that the cooking class taught me. I also went home with decent pasta, so I would say it was a success.