Having a base of cooking skills lets you see the potential that a group of ingredients possesses. It helps you to make something from what appears to be nothing and adds variety and excitement to your meals. I’ve been lucky to take a few classes in the area lately, but when you are on a budget that’s not always possible. And we didn’t all spend years working in a professional kitchen or glued to Food Network to pick up a few hints here and there.

But distress not! There is an affordable way to learn the basics – cook your way through a cook book. You learn from the masters at a fraction of the cost of lessons. With the proper book, you can really learn a lot. In an effort to practice what I preach, provide a little motivation (to myself and others) – I’m happy to announce that I’m starting a Book Club! Every Monday, starting Monday August 23rd I will blog about dishes prepared from a specific cook book. I will give you the name of the cook book and the dish(s) ahead of time so that you can cook along with me – or after me if you’d like to try it after hearing about my trials.

 To start I have picked up a copy of Jaques Pepin’s Complete Techniques to refine the technical side of my cooking. My goal is to work through a few of the recipes every week – so far I can tell there are some lessons I may skip. Though it would be cute to know how to make a vase out of a squash… I don’t think that’s something I would ever need to know how to do.  If you want to follow along – pick up a copy! It will be fun to go through it together.

Starting Monday August 23rd I will post my first Book Club posting (it needs a better name than book club – post any suggestions you have in the comments section). It will cover lessons 1, 3-6. On pages 7 – 19 of Complete Techniques.

Thanks to @FoodiePrints for sharing with me a link for some pretty frugal cooking classes going on around Ottawa for anyone who is interested!