Class I – The Basics, review
We ended up having six people attend the class, as two had an emergency and had to cancel last minute. I drove 3 hours to attend – others came from much further away. One couple gave up a day of their vacation to attend the class. With such a small class, we had the opportunity to see more than just what was on the class schedule. We had a wide range of cooking experience amongst the class – some had little experience cooking, while others were accomplished home cooks or had catering jobs in the past. The purpose of the first class was to cover the basics – proper food safety and how to make soups/stews and simple recipes for large groups, using typical kitchen equipment. Next class is more about food prep in an austere environment.
I have a background in the food industry, so I expected most of this class to be a dry review for me before class 2 and 3. Larry provided us with study materials over email in the days leading up to the class, so we didn’t have to spend much time talking through the hand-washing/cleaning and sanitizing/cross-contamination topics of food safety and were able to spend more time cooking. We ate A LOT! Larry and his team already had the lunch meal started when we arrived, and he walked us through the prep work that had already been done and the finishing process for the meal. The class was on the hook for making dinner. Several points kept coming up throughout the class: you need good food and enough of it during a crisis (2 thousand calories doesn’t cut it – try 4 to 5 thousand for stressful situations), fat is good – it makes you feel full longer and is high-calorie, luke-warm food is NOT safe (even less so after several hours), don’t waste food and time making fancy/extravagant dishes – reuse the scraps/peelings/bones to flavor soups, plan meals ahead so leftover parts from today will be part of tomorrow’s meal, and all the cookbooks and videos in the world won’t do any good if you don’t get in the kitchen/in the woods and PRACTICE! If you don’t have simple dishes that all work together and make large portions, you’re wasting time and energy that you won’t have when things go bad.
I felt the class was worth the cost and the drive, and plan to attend the next two classes. I heard likewise from others in the class. While we all shared meals together and talked about different things, one phrase kept coming to mind: “Meatspace, baby!”.
Thanks to Larry for a great class and to all that attended with me. It was great to meet other like-minded folks who are making it a priority to get out and learn skills. See you at the next class!
Sounds like a complete success Gamegetter. Well done.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE