One of my favorite memories growing up was sitting at the dinner table with my mom and brother. After my parents split, mom made family dinners almost mandatory, and never in front of the television.

She cooked meals for us almost nightly and never wanted help. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that her diligence in the kitchen meant I had no idea how to work anything in one, or prepare full meals for myself, until after college.

I could barely even use a non-electric can opener.

Even now, I remember some of the tasty meals my mom cooked, how warm and hearty they were and how they always lead to fun evening conversation.

But it also meant that I was missing a key opportunity to learn how to take care of and cook for myself.

Sure food blogs, foodie friends and practice have helped me a bit but I’m missing still the core fundamentals. How to pick fresh ingredients, what to pair together, how to properly prepare it and make healthy choices in creating recipes, and how to even use a knife properly!!

In October, I took a cooking class with some friends and one girl (who enjoyed the BYOB portion of the night too much) was brutal in her critique of my skills. Poor knife skills, inability to chop, dice or mince anything properly, it was embarrassing for me.

I’m not someone who likes to be the center of attention, but I don’t want to be a joke either. And while it’s nothing to be ashamed of, I don’t want to ask for help from my foodie friends, I’d rather learn on my own from a professional and get me the knowledge and help I need to make better, more complete meals for myself, and close the gap of learning I didn’t have growing up.