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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Learn How to Eat Well, Live Well at WCC

Good eating and good health are just two of the topics covered in hundreds of non-credit classes available at WCC this fall. The personal enrichment and professional development classes are offered by the College’s LifeLong Learning department.

A highlight in the food and drink category is a series of five individual Italian Sunday Supper classes. In each one, students assist the instructor in preparing a complete rustic Italian meal that includes an entrée, side dishes, and dessert. The classes are held five Thursday evenings from October through December at Whole Foods Market on Washtenaw Ave. They cost $52 each.

“To me there is nothing better than eating food as fresh as you can get it,” said Francesca Gitschlag, the instructor. “First of all is the taste. There is nothing to compare to fresh food. In Naples I grew up going to the market every day, buying food that the local farmers brought in fresh from their farms. So I was raised with fresh, wholesome food cooked in a simple and tasty way.

“I have found that making things myself is just about as easy as opening a box or can. But the flavor is so much better, and you don't have to worry about all the additives that come along with so much of our processed foods.”

Avoiding additives may improve your health, but proactively adding herbs and spices to your diet may help, too. A new class, Remedies From Your Kitchen, explores the possible health-related properties of common herbs and spices. The instructor is botanist Bronwen Gates.

In the first class, Gates introduces students to the enjoyment of adding herbs and spices to their cooking for color and taste, while also taking advantage of health-related properties they may provide. After a week of applying this information in their own kitchens, students will discuss how it affected their cooking.

“The kitchen is a very good place to get close to nature because you’re working with all sorts of raw materials,” Gates said. “Whether it’s salt, herbs, spices, grains or animal protein, it always felt that when I was cooking, my friends were in the kitchen with me.”

The “friends” she so lovingly refers to have turned the kitchen into a natural apothecary. For example, the cloves that add a sweet and aromatic taste to pies and warm apple cider during the holidays also may have antibiotic properties. And the warm and pungent taste of thyme, which is popular for seasoning meats and sauces, may help soothe a pesky cough when you know how to use it properly. Remedies From Your Kitchen meets Nov. 5 and 12 from 6:00pm to 7:55pm and costs $39.

To learn about other non-credit classes being offered at WCC this fall, visit the LifeLong Learning website.

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