Cooking Class: An Amazing Experience

Find a good caterer and you can get a great class together for a small cost per person.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been helping out at Polk Street UMC teaching something called the Daniel Plan. This is a study produced by a little known group called Saddle Back Church out some where in California – I believe near San Diego. Rick Warren put it together or at least stamped his name and led some sessions for the whole thing, and honestly, it’s a great tool to help people connect and experience transformation in their lives.

It has a five point purpose: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friendship.

It oddly finds a way to fix the problem in the covenant discipleship groups that Gayle Watson wrote up. By addressing friendship last, it allows for relationships and accountability to begin before addressing friendships as a topic. In CDGs they wanted you to set up your covenant on day one or day three depending on how they were presented. Don’t get me wrong, Gayle’s little book is an incredible resource, but unless you already know each other and have experience being vulnerable with each other, the covenant wont work. So, it works despite it’s failure as a good introduction. It is a capstone piece perhaps even for the Daniel Plan.

Tonight we hosted a little cooking class because one of the dominate problems people seem to share when it comes to eating healthy whole foods is believing that said foods can have flavor or be easy to prepare. I do mean this as a rough universal, and it’s alright because it is so universal to think like this.

Steak, potatoes, carrots, and ice berg lettuce seems to be the definition of flavor for most of us. A sort of staple staple for the non-foodie crowd, but for the foodie aesthete, you can even make that dish into something with a little more flare. For most though, they’d be satisfied with it. Potlucks become boring and quite often unhealthy because no one wants to experiment or believes they have neither the time or talent to experiment.

But healthy food is quite often better tasting and more diverse than the stock options.

I’ve found this so true in my own journey’s with being a foodie aesthete that I can’t begin to describe how much I appreciate learning some basic and quick cooking techniques, and I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate having a wife that can follow new recipes perfectly the first go round even when I’m winging something else the next night.

So, how in the world do you get over the hump of self doubt and the same fundamental fear that drives people away from calculus?

Our answer was a cooking class. And boy was it fun!

14 of us, if you count my daughters, sat around the table tonight as a great cook/chef/caterer/person Livia (chef at Panhandlers in Amarillo National Bank) showed us how to make a few simple recipes from the Daniel Plan Cook Book. She let us sample the ingredients and in general put on a great show with her friend and cook Jason.

There was great conversation, willing experimentation with new culinary options (who would have guessed that coconut oil doesn’t really taste like coconuts and that soy sauce can be gluten free and still have good taste?), and a very lively atmosphere as we went from smoothie, to salad, to main dish, to desert.

Someone came in thinking they didn’t like coconut and ended sprinkling toasted coconut on chocolate coconut pudding!

A couple of people who wouldn’t have tried to make curry are planning on going home and trying it soon. The ingredient list that scared them off at first didn’t seem as intimidating when it’s laid out in front of them.

Most importantly, the fun and the fellowship of spending a couple of hours exploring the abundance of God’s creation and the fullness there in with some great people at Polk Street.


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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