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Archive for the ‘Cooking classes’ Category


Lately, I’ve been fortunate in a couple of ways.

First of all, I made a fantastic new friend, Mrs. Fresh Scratch. Not only is she a kind, genuine, incredibly sweet person, but we keep discovering a seemingly unending list of things we have in common.

Secondly, my new friend invited me to join her on a trip to Seattle this past Saturday, to sit in on a small cooking class in the (also very small) kitchen of Amy Pennington: gardener, chef, and author of Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen.

We had so much fun.

Amy’s first cookbook (she told us a second is in the works) is gorgeous and informative and inspirational. I originally heard of it last summer after Gwenyth Paltrow touted it in her GOOP newsletter.

The citrus preserving class we signed up for was for just six people, and took place in Amy’s unassuming Queen Anne apartment, which boasts a stunning water view and an enviable outdoor balcony for her container garden.

I have zero experiencing canning or preserving, but didn’t feel overwhelmed at all by Amy’s casual yet informative instructions. Besides the actual details on how to preserve lemons, concoct delicious Meyer lemon jam, and turn a bubbling cauldron of julienned orange peels into bourbon orange marmalade, I was reminded again — I always seem to forget — that you don’t need a big, high-end kitchen chock-full of gadgets to be a fantastic cook. You need a smidge of counter space, a functioning stove top, a few quality tools, and some knowledge. That’s it.

Amy exudes confidence (culinary and otherwise), but in a totally down to earth, easy to take in way. She’s a pro, no doubt about it, but also an effective, funny, talented teacher.

Learn more about her impressive resume, which includes working with Tom Douglas and founding Urban Garden Share, by listening to this recent KUOW interview.

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