When You Conduct Your First Cooking School

* A list of cookbooks and nutrition aids was printed in the April MINISTRY. An auxiliary list of pamphlets, charts, and aids on other phases will appear soon on these pages.--Editors.

By BESS NINAJ, R.N., Bible Instructor, Washington Sanitarium, D.C.

A DIETITIAN would probably have no difficulty in arranging and preparing for a cooking school. However, because the responsibility often falls on a nurse or other person untrained in this specialized field, there are many features which are difficult to visual­ize in advance.

I. SELECTION OF MATERIAL.—The lecture material to be presented should be selected with the thought in mind that the audience is prob­ably much less informed on diet and nutrition than are our own people. Our lay people who attend come to refresh their knowledge and to get new ideas, so simplicity should be the key­note in both the preparation and the presenta­tion.

An up-to-date book on nutrition by a rec­ognized authority, our denominational cook­books, and Spirit of prophecy material are es­sential sources. A current book that can be highly recommended is the Science of Nutri­tion by Henry C. Sherman of Columbia Uni­versity, a recognized United States authority. A list of other source material is given at the end of this article.

The Life and Health department has com­piled a list* that includes charts and articles which can be obtained free or at low cost. Some of these are useful for display and for distribution as well as for content.

A file of usable material can be made up by watching and selecting articles from the Life and Health magazine. These are especially good because they are written by specialists for lay readers.

Pertinent quotations can be kept on 3 by 5 index cards, and can thus be fitted in anywhere in the lectures.

If at all possible, time should be allowed in advance for preparation of the lecture, for the selection of the recipes to be used, and for the mimeographed material which is to be distrib­uted.

The arrangement and length of the material will be governed by the number of lessons to be given.

2. ASSISTANCE.—Even in conducting a small cooking school, assistance is necessary alono­several lines. The preparation of the food, usli­ering, distribution of material, as well as the demonstrations call for more than one person. Inquiry will usually reveal several talented and cooperative members who enjoy cooking and who will enjoy helping. In the recent Pitts­burgh cooking school six local women assisted by preparing the food in quantity, which was distributed as samples of the demonstration.

The roast and soup can be prepared several hours before serving. Salads, coffee substitutes, et cetera, can be prepared just before and dur­ing the lecture, but it is always wise to allow ample time.

Large trays were set up at the Pittsburgh demonstration, with five-inch paper plates, paper forks, souffle cups for soup, and larger cups for the coffee substitute. The Bible in­structors in an effort can contribute by arrang­ing for usherettes and working with them in ushering, in directing the distribution of the mimeographed material, and in serving the food.

To facilitate the demonstration, one may set up a tray with all the necessary ingredients of the recipe. If more than one food is to be pre­pared, an associate may carry out one of the demonstrations.

3. FOOD SAMPLES.—One nutritionist has well said that the American diet has been found to consist largely of meat, potatoes, and bread, The Adventist type of diet differs greatly, both in the variety of foods and in the methods of preparation. Consequently, to interest the peo­ple enough to experiment with the recipes at home, it is almost essential to have them taste the foods that are demonstrated.

If the group is large, the amount given need not be very large—a teaspoonful of roast or potpie, a quarter of a cutlet, or two or three ounces of soup are enough to give one an idea of whether or not the foods are palatable.

4. DISPLAYS.—Various types' of displays can be used effectively. An expensive, but perhaps most effective, one is the actual foods to show which contain the food values that are being dis­cussed. When meat versus more healthful pro­tein is the subject, the display may feature the daily protein requirements as supplied by nat­ural foods. The Homemakers' Cookbook has such a list. Other methods of impressing the lesson may be the use of charts or slides in place of the actual foods.

5.  THE TIME.—The selection of an appro­priate hour for a cooking school is a major item, in order to accommodate as large a group as is interested in attending.

It would seem that the evening is the best time. Mothers can usually arrange for the care of the children then, and those who go to busi­ness during the day are able to avail themselves of the opportunity.

6. INTEREST-CREATING ITEMS.—Variety and interest can be created by using an occasional original item. One which unexpectedly was very effective at the Pittsburgh cooking school was the assignment to compile a list of vege­tables. The list in itself was secondary, for the real purpose was to draw the attention of the people to the possibilities of a selection of a greater variety of vegetables, as well as va­riety in food-value essentials.

On the evening that we studied minerals and demonstrated vegetable salads, Richard Bar­ron, the singing evangelist, demonstrated the making of mayonnaise. This presented an op­portunity to point out that men as well as women should know how to prepare food.

If there is ample time, help, and money, it is ideal to serve a buffet dinner, using the various recipes which have been used during the course. It is written, "One example is worth many pre­cepts." Thus actually eating what has been demonstrated will encourage the use of the new knowledge.


Bogert, L. Jean, Nutrition and Physical Fitness, W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, Pa.

Borsook and Huse, Vitamins for Health, Silver Bur­dett Co., New York, N.Y., 1942. (Pamphlet, ten cents.)

Dittes, Frances L., Food for Life, Associated Lec­tures, Inc., Madison, Tenn., 1935.

A Nutrition Guide (15-page pamphlet), General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

Nutrition Charts, Research Department, H. J. Heinz Co., Pittsburgh 12, Pa., 1946.

Sherman, Henry C., The Science of Nutrition, Co­lumbia University Press, New York, N.Y., 1943.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tables of Food Composition, Miscellaneous Public, No. 572, Wash­ington, D.C., 1945.

Vitamin and Mineral Information, Department of Public Services, General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. (Large chart available to teachers and dieti­tians.)

Walton, H. M., M.D., Outline and Brief Discussion of the Essentials of an Adequate Diet, General Confer­ence Medical Department, 1944.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

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By BESS NINAJ, R.N., Bible Instructor, Washington Sanitarium, D.C.

May 1949

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