A Lesson From the Pros

It was free and it was local; this had to mean it was a good thing, right? Well, as it turns out, it was a good thing and we enjoyed every minute!

Our local Williams-Sonoma is currently offering free cooking classes for kids. It seems they started this at the end of 2013, but I am a little behind on the times. So, a few weeks ago, I took a few minutes out of our day to sign us up for the month of May. One month of trial-and-error couldn’t hurt, could it?

Each cooking class is held on a Saturday morning and there are two session times available. We chose to take the later session, as the idea of getting up early on the weekends just doesn’t appeal to any of us.

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We showed up to our first class bright and early, by about a half an hour, just to get our bearings and to ensure a good spot. This gave us a few minutes to peruse the store and spend a few moments talking with the instructor.

Our first class was on fudge! It lasted about a half an hour and all of the kids present were able to participate on some level. The batch the kids made were supposed to be for their mothers, but our instructor also made sure to have a sample ready for all of the kiddos to test out.

So far, the kids are really enjoying this class. My girls tend to be the oldest in the bunch, but that’s okay; we were here for the lessons more than the socialization. Next week, we are going to learn how to make waffles from scratch (well, my kids are going to review this) and to make various toppings which complement our creations. This will also be the best time to sign up for all of June’s classes as well. If we don’t sign up early, we won’t get a spot!

If you happen to have a Williams-Sonoma near you, I highly recommend signing up for a class or two. Besides the fun opportunities to explore in the kitchen, we parents get 10% off anything we decide to buy while our kids are learning. (I’m sure this is part of their Cooking Class #1marketing strategy, but, hey, it works for me!)

While I don’t plan to make this a weekly practice, I did find a steal this week… Star Wars pancake molds (three of them) for only $7. (Remember my impulse buy strategy? This was under $20!) I am currently debating whether or not I want to save up for a few of their gorgeous bundt pans; the Stained Glass one is particularly spectacular. I just wonder how often I would actually use them. Would they be worth the price?

Time to chime in… Have you ever taken a cooking class through a local store; what was your experience like? Also, do you have any specialized bundt pans; how often do you use them?

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13 thoughts on “A Lesson From the Pros

  1. I don’t know how to advise you on the Bundt pan query. I, myself, have a LOT of Bundt pans, and to me – they are worth every penny. How else can you bake a honey spice cake that looks like a beehive? Or a pumpkin cake that looks like a pumpkin, complete with tendrils winding around the cake? Beauty and function is a combination I find hard to argue with. Storing those pans is another challenge. I have finally resorted to putting the holiday themed ones in with the rest of the decorations. The regular everyday ones, are put high up, so that they don’t get dinged or scratched.

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    • See; this is what I was thinking too! I like the idea of having a pan for a particular occasion. When I’m paying $35 for one pan though, I want to make sure I’ll actually bake in it. I don’t do a lot of entertaining and we don’t attend a lot of parties.

      I just want to make sure this isn’t my obsessive desire to own ‘the entire set’ and more a desire to actually cook.

      Plus, you bring up a good point! Where, oh where, do I store them? I am already running out of room; where do I find more? Perhaps a cupboard in the garage? Now, where do I put one of those?

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      • The only pans I keep in the kitchen are the 12 cup original bundt, (which I use for everything) and a “Bundlet” pan (little muffin sized Bundts.) The rest of them are stored in with the holiday bins. And I have one for every occasion! Last year I got the Honeycomb pan which can be used for honey buns or small cakes, but it is packed away with the summer stuff. I keep the Cathedral one in the Christmas stuff, because I use it to make a really beautiful “jeweled” (fruited) cake.

        They are expensive, but my family often gives them to me for Mother’s Day. That’s why I have so many. I’ve been a mother for over 30 years! 😉

        Do you know about this company? http://www.kingarthurflour.com/

        They send out a catalog that is like porn for people who like to bake. I can sit with my catalogs and a pot of tea for fantasy time. Sigh . . .

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      • I think we are more alike than I realized. I dream of having bundt pans for each holiday. Well, a girl’s got to start somewhere, right? I haven’t been at this quite as long.

        I have heard of King Arthur Flour, but didn’t know they had printed catalogs; awesome! I’ll have to go online and request one.

        My weakness is Williams-Sonoma and design magazines; particularly when it comes to kitchens. If only…

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      • Then we will have even more to talk about!

        Seriously – they also send out emails if you sign up for that too. Emails with beautiful pictures and recipes. I love to settle in with the printed catalogs too, though. Talk about eye candy!

        I’m sure you will enjoy them.

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  2. I have only the original Bundt cake pan, but I have a number of Wilton cake pans — various requests for birthdays. Have you checked TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for pans? They have fabulous kitchenware sections and often carry Bundt pans in different shapes and sizes.

    I have never taken a cooking class. My mom was quite the cook, so I learned a lot from her. I’m not a fan of cooking or baking, though, and a class wouldn’t exactly appeal to me. Further, my husband, kids and I all have celiac disease and have to avoid gluten, so a traditional cooking class would be a problem. My eldest son and daughter bake quite a bit. They’ve learned a lot from me and the internet.

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  3. I’m a baker…I honestly would not even publicly admit to how many cake pans I know….mostly because I have no clue – lol! I have twice as many cookie cutters too! If you can get two good quality bundt pans, you want a simple and traditional one (this can make cake, flan, jell-o molds, monkey bread, RKT molds), the one more decorative one that can make fancy cakes that look impressive and take little effort. Now I’m off to see if our local Williams-Sonoma is offering classes 🙂 That looked like way to much fun to miss!! Thanks for sharing!

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    • (lol) Wow! That’s a lot of pans. I wish I owned that many. (sigh) I’ll be grateful for my little kitchen though; it will grow with time.

      I currently own a fairly simple bundt pan, it has minor grooves that run down every four inches or so. I also have mini-bundt pans; two which each hold six cakes. I would like to invest in one or two fancy ones though; mostly for teas and special events. I like the stained glass and the flower the most. I will probably start with them and see how things go. If I use them a lot, I might invest more, if not no worries.

      My mom is single and lives in a tiny back house with a super small kitchen. Her nicer cookware is locked up in storage, unused. I am trying to convince her to let me ‘borrow’ her fancier mini-bundt pans and a few cast iron pans until she gets a bigger place. (I’m crossing my fingers! LOL)

      Don’t even get me started on cookie cutters! I own boxes!! Truthfully, I use them though. I dig those things out on a bi-weekly basis.

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      • We live in a small apartment and honestly have the biggest pantry ever!! I’m lucky that’ve the space to keep all this baking stuff! I don’t what I would do if we had to move and there was no space…probably cry a little – lol!! I don’t own any small ones…but I’ve wanted to get some. You’ll have to update us on what you decide to get 🙂

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  4. Pingback: In the Kitchen: Learning from the Pros | A Homeschool Mom

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