Summer Camp … by Nancy Brophy

My husband and I are going to camp. What does that conjure for you? Tents? Bunkbeds? Road trips? Back packs?

Not us. We are going to Culinary Bootcamp. Actually that’s not true. Dan is teaching Culinary Bootcamp and I am Vanna White. Five days designed to give non-professionals a serious taste of cooking.

Most people have ten go-to recipes, which get them though. Occasionally they try something new with mixed results. Not many are willing to spend a week, not to mention hundreds of dollars to master culinary techniques.

For the survivors bootcamp may conjure another series of visions or nightmares. From this they may change careers or consider one of the four culinary schools in the area. Opening a restaurant, a B and B, or a sports bar is a common dream. While 90% fail within the first year, 10% make it.  Visionaries know theirs will be the one.

Do you need to learn to braise like a pro? Do your sauté skills need a tune-up? Are your pastry skills up to snuff? A week won’t give an indepth experience, but it will improve your technique. Individual results may vary.

Learning to cook with an economy of motion and speed makes a huge difference. Your peeler has a second speed as does your knife. Cutting your self is optional. Multitasking is a must. All evidence to the contrary I don’t prefer to burn myself. It just happens. A lot.

The fun thing for me is that this will refresh my skills. As I am choosing recipes and typing them into a packet for a handout, I find myself wanting to make each and every one. Doesn’t cream of broccoli soup or red cooked shrimp or quinoa salad sound refreshing?

Tragically I will be forced to try all these dishes. And I will be thinking of you while I do. I did start a diet this week so I can gain back the weight I lose. The sad part is that we hoped to have a third person work with us, but that didn’t work out. But other opportunities will come around.

So if you are going to camp, take your sleeping bag and plenty of MREs (military meals ready to eat – I understand they are good for up to seven years) Yum.

I will be basking in the glory of turning the letters and eating the goodies.


Posted on August 4, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This sounds like a blast–especially the “being forced to eat” part. 🙂 My husband would love a camp that caters to the home chef who is willing to try new things but is self-taught. He has no desire to take on another career, but he’d love to learn more about sauces and braising and new flavor combinations.


  2. I agree with Jessie – this post needs a recipe! Seriously, this sounds like something I’d love. As a writer with a full-time day job,making the time to actually prepare a meal is the toughest part. Do you have a recipe for that? 🙂

    As always, Nancy, you make me smile! Thank you!


  3. All this post needs is a …. recipe 🙂


  4. My husband would love this! Do you have Boot Camp every year?

    I will pass, as I have no eye-hand coordination. I draw stick figures and I’m recovering from having peeled off the side of my finger with my super new potato peeler a few weeks ago. My husband insists on doing all the knife and peeler work for me now.


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