The John C. Campbell Folk School called again with another emergency cooking class they needed me to teach this summer. I was thrilled to be able to say yes, and teach a week-long class entitled “Good For You, Delicious Too!” I had very little to go on with a vague class description, so I wrote an email to all of my students and asked them what they wanted to learn. Cooking with herbs and spices was the overwhelming response, so we spent the week learning how to season and flavor, use seasonal produce, create flavorful appetizers and satisfying snacks, and feed a large crowd with varying dietary needs.
Cooking With Herbs and Spices
Toward the end of class our lone male student (who had been a real peach during the entire week) developed a pinched nerve and ended up spending the night in the local ER getting it looked at. Jim and his wife showed up around noon the next day, him in a neck brace and toting his guitar. He said he was glazed over from the pain killers they’d given him, but he had to perform what had become a tradition for him – a song he’d written about the class. He sat in the middle of the kitchen and sang, and I cried 🙂
The Campbell Kitchen (to “Irene, Goodnight”)
by Jim Luginbuhl
In the Campbell kitchen, Chef Christy taught us skills.
She worked us hard without regard, but not against our will.
In the Campbell kitchen, we started out with knives.
Cube and dice and chiffonade, we almost lost our lives.
Garlic, thyme, oregano, were easily combined;
Paprika, cloves, and ginger, enough to blow your mind.
In the kitchen, Frances, knows every plant that grows,
Weeds, herbs, and vegetables, and what else, goodness knows.
We learned to make some sauces, and compound butter too.
Dilly dip and ratatouille, and a snack out of tofu.
So we’ll go home with new ideas, and try them one by one,
And remember the Campbell kitchen, where we had so much fun.