Toi Degree: Join the Lunch and Learn crowd

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 12, 2016

There are certain terms that we all know, and “DIY” is one of those. It stands for “do it yourself.” It became popular in the mid-1990s when content began to find its ways onto the World Wide Web — the Internet.

DIY has a long history that spans back to at least 1912. So when I began to put together my 2016 Lunch and Learn Series, I had great insight as to what things to include. How you might ask? Well, that is a wonderful question. I asked my participants from last year’s series.

My 2016 series is a direct reflection of their suggestions. Everyone who attends will add to their extensive knowledge base, which falls right in line with our North Carolina Extension mission of “Empowering People and Providing Solutions.” This year’s series will begin on Tuesday, April 26, and will continue for five months every fourth Tuesday, from noon to 1 p.m. Here are the descriptions of the sessions, in order:

Biscuits Anyone? Those that attend this session will learn about the history of canned biscuits, the key players, their roles in the process, and how they went about perfecting the process in order for us to have one of the greatest convenience items ever.  And of course, I will share ways to use canned biscuits that could “pop up” every day.

Cooking for One or Two — Sometimes, it can be hard to get motivated when cooking a meal for just one or two people.  However, in recent years, one- and two-person households have been a growing sector in the U.S. and it is estimated that more than 61 million one- and two-person households exist.  Since eating matters more than the size of your household, come learn how to adjust and cook for your household.

Grilling – Grilling is one of summer’s greatest pastimes. There is nothing like food hot off the grill.  Come by for shish kabobs, grilled veggies and even dessert from the grill. There are so many things that can be prepared on the grill, and discovering those will be part of the fun.

It’s in a Jar — One of the hottest crazes around right now is meals in a jar, everything from oatmeal and salads to dessert.  There are also mixes in a jar that make wonderful gifts for friends and loved ones.  Sign up to learn many ways to create new and exciting meals and mixes in a jar.

Cooking with Herbs – What would pesto be without basil, or salsa without cilantro? Whether used by the pinch or by the bunch, fresh herbs pull a recipe together by infusing the dish with unparalleled aromas and flavors. Come discover how you can kick up your dishes with herbs. Then, once you have gained a greater appreciation for herbs, come learn how to grow your own herbs on July 30 from 9-11:30 a.m. with the Rowan County Master Gardeners. They also have a DIY Gardening Series that covers everything from shade and vermicompost gardening to pollinators.

Foil Cooking – Foil cooking is a quick and easy way to cook seafood, chicken and vegetables “en papillote” or in parchment-paper packets and foil packets. It is an easy way to ensure tender and juicy results, whether you cook your paper packets in the oven or grill foil packets. These easy packet recipes use a fuss-free technique to ensure a healthy dinner packed with tender meat, healthy vegetables, and flavorful juices.  There are no pans or dishes to wash either; you can eat right out of the foil. This is super quick and super easy.

Again, sessions will be held monthly during the noon hour on Tuesdays beginning April 26. Registration is required; this year’s classes will cost $5 per session and as always, are open to the public. Participants will receive a sampling of food or a take away from each session, recipes and other educational materials.

The classes will be held at the Rowan County Agriculture Center, located at 2727 Old Concord Road. There is a limit of 20 people per session. To register for any or all of the sessions, give us a call at 704-216-8970. As your Family & Consumer Education agent, I will teach the sessions.

Come join the Rowan County DIY movement with the home gardening or Lunch and Learn series.

Toi N. Degree, Family & Consumer Education agent at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension, 704-216-8970 or