I’ve been out of school for a few years now, and have honestly enjoyed the freedom of having no homework. It is glorious, and although work sometimes turns into homework (especially when I have to go in on weekends), at least I’m getting paid (in theory). I don’t miss the homework, but what I do miss are the classes. I had wonderful classes in college. (Sometimes I daydream about sneaking into a GW or Georgetown lecture and reliving my glory days.)
So when Arlington put out the current class offerings for Spring, I poured through the catalog like a kid in a candy store. The classes are affordable, fun, and actually relevant to my life (unlike some classes I took at UNC). The one I chose to take this go-round was Knife Skills. My mother always said she wished she had taken a knife skills class, if only to know the easiest and quickest way to chop something, so I decided to learn from her longings and actually take one.
So last week, I packed up my best knife, and headed over to the Clarendon education center for a class on how to chop. I arrived knife-in-hand (well, in purse actually, can you imagine if I had just walked around with my knife out?) and sat down at a long table for what smelled to be a cooking-and-chopping class, since our instructor had put a chicken in the oven for us already.
We gathered around a small instructor station to learn how to chop sweet potatoes, chicken, apples, garlic and onion. We learned the anatomy of a knife, how to select the best knife for you, and what works to sharpen them.
We learned all about new knifes, like teh santoku, why every cook needs a chef knife, what a boning knife is compared to a paring knife, and how to care for our knives. (The picture that starts this post is an ideal way to store your nice knives!)
Each student was given time to chop potatoes, apples, and then we gathered around to learn how to butcher a cooked chicken. Along the way, our instructor gave personal attention and tips and tricks to make chopping faster and easier. We were all able to ask questions, and had a chance to test out different types of knives.
The class was $45 for Arlington residents (a bit more for non-residents), and the fee including the cost of materials (aka food). The class was short, sweet and fun. I’d recommend it to anyone who wanted a knife 101 course, it was a perfect introduction.
Arlington Public School’s Adult Education program is always running classes, you can check out the current listing of courses here.