Intro to Cookery by
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Learning To Cook

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Intro to Cookery

We were still newlyweds when my husband’s company offered him the chance to work in their London office for a year and of course we took it!   (See Valentine’s Day in Foggytown,  Kinky Boots,  and Laundry Day in London)

I took a leave of absence from my job,  we sublet our apartment,  and since taking our cat would have meant a 6 month quarantine,  we boarded him instead with my mother-in-law.

We rented a lovely little flat off London’s Kings Road,  and to keep me busy while my husband was at the office I decided to take some courses.   A friend suggested City Lit on fabled Drury Lane.

City Lit offered wonderful adult ed courses and I registered for Survey of British Lit;  another class called History Tours of London with weekly field trips around the city;  and a course I badly needed called Intro to Cookery.

To be honest my lack of culinary skills had already become a sensitive issue at home,  and so I hoped that at each class session I’d master a new dish.  (See Bone of Contention)

But truthfully the only cooking tip I remember learning was that lemon juice improves almost everything.   And the only dish I remember learning to cook was roast chicken – in fact I made it for the first time one night when a friend was coming to dinner.

That evening when the chicken was done I took it out of the oven and put it on a large platter planning to carry it out to the table to carve.  But our kitchen was narrow with a few steps leading up to the hall,  and going up those steps with the platter in my hands I tripped and watched helplessly as my lovely roast chicken summersaulted onto the floor.

Meanwhile I heard the two guys chatting away in the next room oblivious to my kitchen catastrophe.   So I lifted the miscreant fowl off the floor and put it back on the platter,  rearranged the garnish around it,  and carried it out to the table.

And despite that one little mishap,  I’m happy to say our dinner was delish!

Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Cooking schools, Cooking
Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    I’ll have to remember that lemon juice tip, Dana. At least you had something solid on your platter, like a bird and not a plate of spaghetti! Glad you thought quickly and were able to retrieve your chick and it WAS delicious.

  2. Khati Hendry says:

    That was a true Julia Child moment! Well played. I bet you still enjoy roast chicken too.

  3. John Shutkin says:

    Great story, Dana. I actually know that lemon juice tip. Liquor helps, too.

    As to your little “incident,” no big deal. I subscribe to both the “one bounce rule” and the “spotlessly clean kitchen floor theory” whenever those things happen to me. Which is often.

  4. Suzy says:

    Wow, Dana, you actually took a cooking class! But not memorable except the tip about lemon juice, and the roast chicken. It sounds like that was enough though. And I would have picked it up and put it back on the platter too!

  5. Great story with interesting contextual detail. YES, THERE IS a “20 second rule” for roast chicken on the floor or the staircase! I felt your pain on that one, though. I think I’ve buried in my memory the times I rescued something off the floor and still served it!

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    Funny but also yummy! And a few germs are actually good for people.

  7. Dave Ventre says:

    When food was dropped, my Mom used to pick it up, give it an air kiss, hold it over her head, say “kiss it up to God” and voila! it was fine to eat. I never heard that expression outside of her family. Maybe it was a Norwegian custom.

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