On a rare quiet morning last week with sleeping babies, a clean kitchen and two blog posts prepared and ready to publish, I assumed since I was sitting down for longer than one minute that I did not have enough to do. I decided then that I could easily handle the work load of a Harvard science course. No problem. Have I ever excelled at science? Not one bit. However, this course was Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science. It was THE Harvard course I had heard about and envied for several years. A science class for non-science majors taught by the impressive likes of Ferran Adrià, Harold McGee, José Andrés and a few Harvard professors to round out the brain pool.
After a few years of offering the class to a small group of lucky Harvard students, the class is, for the first time, offered FREE online to anyone who wants to sign up. Using the EDX system, the class offers a combination of lectures, homework assignments and labs. This is not an opportunity I can pass on. Although, I’m certainly no molecular gastronomist, I want to understand the science behind my food because I know that it will make me a better cook.
The suggested text for the class is a book I’ve had on my shelf, and used for reference many times in the past two decades. Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.
Pages in my copy of the book talking about yeasts, doughs, egg foams and batters are dogeared for easy reference. The first week of the course includes suggested readings from the book on the four basic food molecules as well as a chemistry primer.
Truth is I’m a little skeptical if I can handle the work load of the course, keep up with the blog and do that other thing I do full time…what is that again? Oh yeah, take care of three adorable children. If you don’t have the time to commit to the workload, you can sign up to audit the class as well. I did not choose that option, and I am very hopeful that I can keep up with course. I plan on sharing my experiences taking the course with you as I go. So, wish me luck; I’m now off to calibrate my oven.
Oh, and if you want to take the class with me, that would be awesome! We could be study buddies! I’m pretty sure you can still sign up (we’re only in week 1). Information on the course can be on the edX site for Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science