Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ann Arbor Cooks! Knife Skills Class

I’ve wanted to take a knife skills class for years. Ok, that sounds creepy, but it’s true.

In Italy, I often found myself struggling with a piece of fruit while the Italians peeled and sliced their fruit with a few flashes of the knife left over from lunch. It was a mystery to me how they did it so quickly and never had to run for a Band-Aid.

After taking the Knife Skills class taught by Natalie Marble, Owner of Ann Arbor Cooks!, my husband and I are now qualified to return to the Old Country. We can julienne, batonnet, brunoise and dice with the best of them. Ok, I’m not sure if those are all really verbs, but we learned a lot.

Preparing dinners, we have been slicing with the right knives at home and even standing properly while we do it. We practiced enough in class that we started to not only learn, but also remember the lessons. Starting with a large platter of vegetables and ending with a chicken, we used a number of different knives and techniques.

We each had our own comfortable workspace and Natalie was not only generous with offering personal assistance, but she was also quite patient when someone, I won’t mention names, kept regressing to her old ways.

I won’t give away her secrets; you’ll have to sign up for the class. If you do, you might see us there. We are eyeing some of her future cooking classes.

Disclaimer: As a former vegetarian and generally squeamish person, I wanted to – really wanted to – cut the raw chicken. As I sunk my fingers into the meat, however, I was displeased by the activity. I’m sorry I’m not the kind of person who can do that, but I am glad that I married someone who enjoyed the challenge. He had the opportunity to try twice since I shared my chicken with him.

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