JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Prudence Hilburn Offers Cooking Classes at JSU

By Victoria Oxley
JSU News Bureau

January 22, 2004 -- Jacksonville State University will be hosting several gourmet-cooking classes taught by the local food writer and well-known cooking instructor Prudence Hilburn.

A ROMANTIC DINNER FOR TWO: This class will give you ideas and recipes so that you can treat that special someone in your life with a Valentine’s dinner that he/she will never forget. Included will be appetizer, salad with special homemade dressing, entrée, side dishes and of course, dessert. Monday, Feb. 9, 2004, JSU, Mason Hall, Room 202, 6 to 9 p.m. Course ID #04SPCOK01, $29.00 - .3 Continuing Education Units.

BREAKFAST BEYOND SCRAMBLED EGGS: Want to spice up your breakfast menu? Then this class is for you! This class will include some special morning treats from different countries as well as new and exciting ones with an American touch. Monday, Mar. 8, 2004, JSU, Mason Hall, Room 202, 6 to 9 p.m. Course ID #04SPCOK02, $29.00 - .3 Continuing Education Units.

BACK TO NEW ORLEANS: Learn to make classic Cajun and Creole cuisine the way they do it in New Orleans. Class will include the traditional dishes such as File Gumbo, Jambalaya, and much more. How about Beignets for dessert? Or maybe palate-pleasing Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce. Monday, April 12, 2004, JSU, Mason Hall, Room 202, 6 to 9 p.m. Course ID #04SPCOK03, $29.00 - .3 Continuing Education Units.

THE BUSY BAKER…. SOUTHERN BAKING MADE EASY: This class will be perfect for the novice baker, but the accomplished baker might also find it interesting. Learn to make luscious cakes, cobblers, custards, breads and more in the tradition of the American South. Monday, May 10, 2004, JSU, Mason Hall, Room 202, 6 to 9 p.m. Course ID # 04SPCOK04, $29.00 - .3 Continuing Education Units.

Ms. Hilburn, a Piedmont native and the author of six popular cookbooks, including A Treasury of Favorites Old & New, Grandad’s Old-Fashion Cookbook, and Cooking with Prudence. She received culinary training first in New York City and then in the south of France. She co-authored a cookbook entitled Mastering the Art of French Cooking with Julia Childs based on her experience in France.

Ms. Hilburn’s extensive cooking career came from very humble beginnings.
“My mother was an excellent cook, and the kitchen was her domain. I never learned to cook at home. Even when I got married, I couldn’t cook. I enjoyed baking and I remember when I first saw the Pillsbury Bakeoff advertisement. I told my husband that I thought I could do it. He laughed because he knew how I cooked. See, before we were married, his mother told me that he loved thick gravy and had to have it every morning. She asked if I could cook it, and I said yes. I thought I could. It looked simple enough. It was pancake gravy and I picked it up with a spatula and set it on his biscuit and then sat down and cried.

“He told his mother that I needed some cooking lessons, and I became determined to learn how to cook. I knew I had gotten good when my husband would comment that something tasted better than his mama’s,” she said.

She became a six-time Pillsbury Bake-Off finalist and was actually banned from cooking competitions in 1975 due to multiple wins in contests such as the National Beef Cooking Contest, Farmed Raised Catfish Cook-off, Hunt-Wesson Recipe Search and the National Pineapple Classics.

“I was hooked on contests. They were never tiring to me and I enjoyed them so very much. I got ideas just from going to the tiny “mom and pop” grocery stores in Piedmont. I had a busy lifestyle but cooking never felt like work, besides my family loved all my creations. They never knew what they would have on the table,” says Ms. Hilburn.

Ms. Hilburn was asked to become the national spokeswoman for Pillsbury and for the Domino Sugar Company. She has also been featured on CBS' Eye on People and has made appearances on CBS' This Morning and on the Extreme Cuisine food network. Ms. Hilburn continues to write “The Gourmet Touch” culinary column for The Anniston Star and The Gadsden Times.

Ms. Hilburn’s cooking classes at JSU will each last approximately three hours.

“I have been teaching cooking classes at JSU now for about eleven years through the Continuing Education Department. We always have a very good turnout. The classes are very casual, very fun, and very informative. It is very fulfilling for me because I have always had a goal of getting people back into the kitchen, and JSU is helping me to achieve that goal,” says Ms. Hilburn.

Enrollees are encouraged to register early due to limited availability. For more information call JSU’s Department of Continuing Education at 782-5918 or go to http://www.jsu.edu/depart/conted/.http://www.jsu.edu/depart/conted/ .

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