This spring, I’ve been studying for my certification in home preserving from The National Centre for Home Food Preservation at The University of Georgia. This isn’t the first time I’ve taken a cooking course, or pursued higher learning in the name of good food—and I’m fairly certain it won’t be the last.
One of the beautiful things about the Internet is that there are numerous ways to get educated, even in the culinary arts. In fact, if you love cooking, but don’t really know how to do it, the answer might be just a few clicks away.
In addition to the class I mentioned above—which is completely free, and comes with a full certification at the end of the study—there are a few other online schools that I know of. They include:
1. Rouxbe: Perhaps the most well known of the online cooking schools, this video-based program from Vancouver is an excellent resource and has taught many people how to cook well. Reasonably priced, and stocked with a library of excellent recipes, this would be my first choice for an online culinary education.
2. Feast: This video-based cooking platform is for culinary novices. There is no quiz, or fancy cooking jargon, just online classes that will teach you how to feed yourself well.
3. The Epicurious Cooking School: A pay-by-class cooking school in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America. You can take your first course free of charge, and then choose a package of lessons to learn from.
4. Craftsy: What started as an online destination of classes for crafty types now includes cake decorating, pizza baking (free!), and artisan cheese making. Add classes to your account and watch them whenever it’s convenient for you—there’s no schedule to stick to, and an acclaimed instructor teaches each lesson.
5. ChefSteps: If you’re interested in modernist cuisine, there is a free-to-study cooking school where ‘master techniques of traditional and modernist cooking through practical, hands-on demonstrations with detailed step-by-step explanations’ are taught. These are, admittedly, designed to teach more difficult techniques and methods of preparation, but if you’re interested in learning how to make the perfect citrus supreme, this might be your school.
Would you ever take an online culinary class? Have you? What would you most like to learn?
I usually stay away from purchasing themed-paper cups for most of my parties. For starters, they’re expensive when you compare the decorated cups to their plain coloured counterparts, and—to be honest—they aren’t always very pretty. Not to mention that they usually come in small packages of eight or 10, when it’s very possible I’ll need double or triple that for my bash.
Instead, I prefer to stamp my party cups in colours or icons that suit the theme of the party. For birthday parties, I might use a plain white cups and jazz them up with stamped polka dots (bingo dabbers work well for this), or for a Canada Day party or other seasonal celebration, I’d likely use a coloured cup and add a familiar image to the front of the cups.
If you don’t have a circle stamp, a wine cork works well and so does a potato stamp. Basically, use what you have to make inexpensive paper cups look pretty and festive.
Here’s how to do it:
Have you ever stamped your cups before? Would you? What are some party decorations that you like to make from scratch?