Cooking has many components. You have to understand your ingredients. You must acquire certain skills, some of which take years to master. Then you have to manage things, time and temperature among them. It's a lifelong pursuit that includes plenty of rewards, lots of great meals, a few heartbreaking learning experiences and the chance to buy all kinds of gadgets for your kitchen.
But if the world of cooking seems daunting and if you're unsure how best to begin, I can't think of a better solution than taking a three-week cooking class for beginners, taught by author and distinguished Sacramento food journalist Elaine Corn.
The class meets on three successive Saturdays in July (the 16th, 23rd and 30th) from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $300, which includes a copy of Corn's book, "Now You're Cooking: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know to Start Cooking Today."
Don't consider yourself a beginner? Even if you know your way around a kitchen, it's always a good idea to brush up on the fundamentals and sharpen the skills you already have. Corn knows what she's talking about. Topics include: pro-level chopping skills, the proper use of salt, knowing when meat and fish are done, and how to time the courses of a meal.
You'll also learn how to bake, boil, steam and sautÃ© "in a positive, completely hands-on environment," according to information on Corn's Facebook page, which goes on to say, "Here's a guarantee: After the first week, you'll be mincing herbs like a TV chef. By the end of the series, you'll be cooking for yourself, family and friends."
For more information, contact Maryellen Burns, (916) 768-6077, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For those interested in paying online, the class is expected to soon be listed on www.Brownpapertickets.com.