It's not that I don't like to cook. I simply prefer eating what I have cooked. It also has to do with the fact that although I was given every opportunity to cook alongside my parents, I preferred baking and rarely ventured into the kitchen to watch my dad cut up a whole chicken or help my mom fry up some potatoes.
When I began my real foods journey, I realized that there was a lot I needed to learn in the kitchen. I have muddled through, figuring it all out as I go, but it would have been nice to have some website where I could have gone to easily learn the skills I was lacking. I'm sure I am not alone in this sentiment.
My friend KerryAnn from Cooking Traditional Foods (CTF) has created Kitchens Resurrected: A Real Food Cooking School, which is a video course that tackles the fundamentals from a real food standpoint. You know, things like how to cut a chicken, how to tell if fruit is ripe, basic cooking techniques, and other basics that seem to have become a lost art.
I am pretty excited about this class. It is literally filled to the brim with all the “must know” kitcheny/cooking stuff. Even if you are a pro, I think you will that there are some really good little nuggets of info here for you.
Each month, CTF will release course content in the following areas:
Instruction in basic, intermediate and advanced real food cooking techniques and skills for cooks at all levels for beverages and drinks; broths; fermentation; grains; homemade sauces, dressings and condiments; appetizers; soups; main dishes; side dishes; salads; egg dishes; grains; beans and legumes; snacks and desserts; Ethnic dishes; allergy and intolerance substitutes; and superfoods. The course includes a video dictionary of cooking terms with demonstrations as well as instruction in food storage. There are also video catalogs of:
- grains, nuts and seeds
- pantry staples
- kitchen equipment
KerryAnn is extremely passionate about real foods and helping people heal through proper nutrition. She is also an overachiever! As such, she is launching a second multimedia class on Lactofermentation at the same time as the Real Food Cooking School! Exciting and crazy and I for one cannot wait to join in!
As if two incredible multimedia classes weren't enough, July 23rd ALSO marks the opening of the Cooking Traditional Foods membership site. Monthly memberships start at only $12 depending on the level you join under you will get access to BOTH classes plus so many other great items like online Q&A meetings, access to the recipe archives (which are truly beyond compare), the monthly menu mailers, and so much other greatness!
Before we talk about this giveaway, I wanted to share a little “interview” I conducted with KerryAnn so you could all get to know her better. She really is an amazing woman who has created an invaluable resource in the real food world. Enjoy her responses then be sure to enter the giveaway!
Anyone can go to your blog and piece together your “story” of your transition to improved health through real foods. However, could you take a moment to share a little bit about how Cooking Traditional Foods all came together and how it has evolved over the years?
I started CTF in 2007 when I was very sick, so sick I couldn't get out of bed but a couple of hours each day. It became a distraction, a way to turn what I was suffering through outward and use it to help others. I needed something to pull the focus off of what I was going through and the website and writing the Menu Mailer from our own family recipes was what I needed to get me through such a difficult three years. I put a mattress on my living room floor and would lay there and write while I was awake and rest as much as I needed to. The kids were toddlers and they've play in the room beside me and crawl up onto the mattress with me for naps and at bedtime. At the time, I said I'd stick with it for just five years, then decide what to do.
As I recovered and was able to work more, we started producing eBooks and I began blogging. While going through my health challenges, I used working as a means of escape so I would pull long work sessions when I was at my sickest or going through the insomnia that comes with chelation. Focusing on something outside of myself passed the time.
I love what I do, so it doesn't really feel like work. It is my passion and it drives me, I enjoy what I do. One thing led to another and I found myself doing eCourses and now we're offering a membership site. July 23rd will be our fifth anniversary and CTF is now a family business as my husband joined me full-time earlier this year. We have no plans of stopping anytime soon, we love it too much!
You have two new classes launching on June 23rd, both of which I am excited about! The first, Kitchens Resurrected: A Real Food Cooking School, is such a fabulous idea! Personally, I feel that there is a great need for this course because we have lost the fine art of kitchen basics. I discussed it above so instead of telling us about the eCourse, could you share what pieces of this course you believe will be the most helpful and why?
I've met too many real food cooks who feel like they don't have the basics of cooking down. Many women have told me they've taught themselves to cook, their mothers never showed them anything, so they've picked up skills piecemeal instead of having a full, solid foundation. Most women haven't learned basic kitchen management and most people don't know how to choose produce and meat. So many people complain that they throw produce away and throw out meat because they don't know what to do with it. As real food cooks, we're encouraged to buy a side of beef and get a CSA, but unless you know what to do with all of those veggies and those cuts of meat, some of them are going to go to the garbage because it's intimidating and time-consuming to learn new skills. In addition, most women haven't been taught how to balance flavors and use spices, so we go out on a limb with a new dish to have the family turn their noses up at it. It's defeating and it doesn't encourage people to keep trying and to find the right combinations. So I believe learning these skills will save a lot of money in the long-run. I've had people tell me subscribing to the Menu Mailer alone cut their food budgets in half and many clients have told me it gave them the room they needed in their budget to go organic and get the grass-fed meat. So between the Menu Mailers and the Cooking School, my hope is that many families will have more money to invest in better quality produce and top quality meats and raw milk while learning those foundational skills they need to successfully manage their kitchens.
Your second course on Lactofermentation comes as no surprise. You have been vigorously researching proper fermentation methods and vessels and I am quite sure have received heaps of questions about fermentation. What are you hoping participants will walk away with after taking this course? What makes it different from the other courses out there?
Lactofermentation is both a science and an art. I've covered some of the science on my blog and I will continue to do so as I am able. But without the art of fermentation, the science is really limited. I's so critical to look at the big picture in fermentation- all of the products of fermentation AND how to get them into your family. If you're trying to heal your gut or stay healthy, all of the science in the world won't help if it's a daily battle to get just a teaspoon into your kid!
My goal is that members will have a working knowledge in how to get lacto-fermented foods into every meal and snack they serve.
Currently, the available content focuses on how to produce the lacto-ferments but they're light on the practical application- they don't really show you what to do with the ferment to get it into your kids on a daily basis once you've made that recipe. Lactoferments are treated like a condiment- an afterthought, not a necessary component for every meal. Since most people in real foods today are trying to heal their guts, the goal is to consuming more than just a teaspoon at each meal.
I can make all of the ferments in the world but they aren't any good if my kids won't eat them. So my goal is to show you how to make it then show you how to get it into your kids in a way that makes both of you happy. My kids are filming the course with me, they're eating the foods and your children can watch them and be encouraged to try the new goodies Mom is making, too.
You have a lot on your plate. Mom, homeschooler, wife, business owner, eCourse creator, menu mailer recipe inventor, real foodie, and the list goes on. How on earth do you make it all work? How to you achieve balance in your life?
First and foremost, sleep. If I don't get enough sleep, I don't function well. We put a premium on quality sleep in the Foster household. My kids go to bed at dark and sleep until they wake up on their own. I go to bed at 10:30 each night and sleep in total darkness until I wake up on my own. When things are really tough or the stress is high, I might need 9-10 hours of sleep a night and I allow myself to get it. I find it doesn't matter if I sleep 5 or 10 hours in a night, I tend to get the same amount of work done regardless, so I might as well go ahead and get the ten hours and not feel groggy and irritable all day.
Beyond that, I work off of a schedule. I'd go nuts if I didn't. I can lay things down and walk away from them, knowing I'll pick back up and work on them again the next day. For a long time, I was a very free spirit, refusing to ‘allow a schedule to control me.' Now that I've bitten the bullet and tried it, I've found it is the most freeing thing I could have done. Now everyone knows when we're doing certain things, the kids know and expect the routine, and we are all better for it. I can do things like record the radio show or film a segment without having to worry about their noise level because they know they only have to be quiet and focus on their schoolwork for a short while, an hour or three, and it will be over soon. But even if they do wander in while I'm taping, it's no big deal. My clients know I have kids and we live in a normal household where the kids are valued family members, not an inconvenience to be managed.
We plan our work and then work our plan. We do long-range planning and break everything down into small tasks and set them on a timeline and stick to it. Long-range planning is a must for any business, otherwise you'll flounder. A lack of planning leaves you chasing after all of the little details each day instead of working towards a big picture and the big project. My background is in science and not in business, so learning how to manage and market a business has been a steep learning curve.
Finally, I'm not afraid to say ‘no.' I have absolutely no guilt attached to using the word. I know what my limits are and what I can and cannot accomplish reasonably. While there are many things that are worthwhile, I find that taking on too much causes you to get your priorities messed up and you lose sight of your goals. If a project or activity doesn't fit our goals for business or family at the time, I must turn it down no matter how worth-while it is because it will distract us from our goals and the big picture of where we're heading and what we want to accomplish.
And for a fun little twist – what is your favorite food to eat and which is your favorite recipe/dish? Are there any foods you do not particularly care for?
I am crazy for kale. I wouldn't touch anything green growing up, so it was quite the reversal when I tried it for the first time and I absolutely fell in love. I would gladly eat it multiple times a week and be perfectly happy with it. My favorite dish isn't one I make at home. It's a duck and sweet potato hash with caramelized onions, hollandaise sauce, a fried egg and asparagus. I eat it at a restaurant in town that caters to gluten-free people and they only offer it when local asparagus is in season. We only eat out once or twice a year, so that's the biggest treat for me.
I also love pretty much anything Indian. I've been on a serious Indian food kick and I just can't get enough of it. I go for authentic recipes written by Indian cooks, not the Americanized versions, because the food is richly spiced and well-balanced. I love Mexican food, too. Having grown up as a white girl in the Deep South, it's very much a culinary shock to my extended family to see me eating kale, duck, and ethnic anything. Where I grew up, tacos were exotic.
I don't care for eggplant or kippered herring. I'm not big on sweet corn or corn on the cob. I won't refuse to eat anything, but they aren't my favorites. My son loves peas of any type so we have them regularly, but I really could take it or leave it. He's also crazy about the eggplant, kippered herring and corn. Go figure.
KerryAnn is generously giving away ONE full month of the premium membership package! You will get the following:
- Unlimited access to all of the video-based lessons on the membership site for both classes.
- New lessons released weekly
- Private support forum
- Deeper discounts on all CTF eBooks
- Monthly bonus lesson
- Monthly Q&A online meetings
- Monthly Thank You Video
- Exclusive discounts on partner products
- Entry into our quarterly big giveaway
- The weekly Classic Menu Mailer
- Access to the Recipe Archive
You would love to win this right? Use the Rafflecopter Entry form below. Super Easy!
Interested in purchasing this eCourse? If so, head on over to the official CTF classes page and make the best investment in your health that you can make! Use HRM20 and get 20% off! Trust me, you will be glad that you did!
a Rafflecopter giveaway