Week 1: Sauces and condiments, kitchen basics – Home Assignment #1

Cooking Lab: Dressings, sauces, and condiments

  • Demonstration of chopping, slicing, dicing and other basic techniques
  • Stocking a kitchen pantry (oils, vinegars, herbs, spices, condiments, whole grains, legumes, canned goods, nuts, and seeds)
  • Equipment safety, kitchen cleanliness, food storage
  • Understanding ingredient ratios – the key to perfect dressings, sauces, and condiments.
  • Building a repertoire of sauces to support creative cooking


Below are a few questions for you to consider as you write about your home cooking experience  on the class blog.  Your responses do not need to be complicated or formal, and please, don’t hesitate to be creative, candid, funny – whatever you feel.

The point of these questions is to get you to think about your pantry and the ways in which it does or does not support the type of cooking you want to do for yourself and others. A well-stocked pantry with a few key ingredients can make it much easier to prepare nourishing home-cooked meals.

  • How does meal planning generally work for you?  Do you have a routine or strategy, or is it spontaneous?  Without judgment, talk about what works and doesn’t work about it. 
  • How does your pantry inventory look?  Do you think you have what you need to prepare food the way you want? What do you still need?  What do you have that isn’t necessary?

Using only what you have on hand in your pantry and refrigerator, prepare two recipes from cookbooks you own or an online search.

Post a few pictures of your preparation and cooking process, and feel free to share photos of your pantry or anything important (positive or negative) about your kitchen as a part of the post. 

Reflect on the cooking – how it went, what worked well and what you might change. Talk a bit about your pantry and whether or not it supports the way you want to cook. 

Please be sure to check the category box  “Home Assignment 1” and uncheck the category box “General” for your blog post this week.”