DR. Mary Ayala's Demonstration on Italian Cooking as an Online Event


Photo Courtesy: Dinneratthezoo.com

Dr. Mary Ayala, Dean from the College of Liberal Arts, demonstrated how to make a delicious Italian meal for students and staff of Eastern New Mexico University on Jan. 27, 2021.


Participants tuned in via zoom, free of charge, but were also optionally required to go to their local grocery store to pick up the ingredients all under $20. The meal would serve between to 4 to 6 guests at your home.

Let's talk about what it’s like to attend one of these events from the comfort of our homes. Some people might think that it’s difficult or perhaps not captivating enough to participate in an online cooking class. Well, I am here to tell you otherwise!


Setting up to watch the class was simple. Due to COVID-19 and the restrictions of social distance and not being able to do mass gatherings, I believe many people are becoming more familiar to working with Zoom or other video call programs.


The instructor, Dr. Ayala, was entertaining and clear with her instructions. She brought a great sense of humor and a welcoming energy. It felt as if we were all friends hanging out, cooking a delicious meal. It was great to see how we are connecting and adapting to our current situation due to the pandemic.


Dr. Ayala taught viewers how to cook the perfect rice! For those of us who seem to struggle making rice. In case you are wondering how much water you need, simply double the amount per cup(s) of rice you use to a pot. Then place it on the stove to boil and as soon as it begins to boil you turn the heat to the lowest setting. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes and voilà you have the perfect rice, thank you Dr. Ayala!


Also, side note did you know that rice absorbs everything you serve it in? It will especially absorb oil, so Ayala let us in on a tip. Do not place your rice in the soup until the end, as to preserve it's flavor.


The audience engagement was awesome. They were asking questions and interacting with Ayala and one another. At one point of the class the meal required to dice some onion and Ayala’s Sous chef asked, in the case that someone didn’t like onion could it be substituted? One of the participants suggested celery or bell pepper. No time was wasted in their down time either, they shared information and resources that are provided to students.


In conclusion, I strongly suggest for everyone to join in on one of the cooking events hosted by the campus via Zoom this semester. It was informative, entertaining, and worth every second. Plus, my family was able to make a delicious Italian soup and add it to our recipe book!

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