Proprietor Clemence Gossett pours sourdough while teaching Bread Camp online. Photo by Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories

You don’t just have to sit there. You could learn a skill, a craft, or maybe a little science. Try these options while you’re quarantining.


Having sliced my finger while making one of my favorite side dishes, Nom Nom Paleo Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”, I wondered if there were any great cooking lessons, free online.

Well, duh, of course there are. And some originate right in our own backyard, at Clemence Gossett’s Gourmandise School of School of Sweets and Savories, located on the third floor of Santa Monica Place.

You’ve always wanted to learn how to make bread but you haven’t had the time to commit to a multi-day workshop. Well, now you have the time and you don’t even need to leave home! This free Gourmandise YouTube channel is a real gift, especially Bread Camp. Learn about wheat, yeast, how to make sandwich bread, challah, focaccia, milk bread, and the grand prize, sourdough. This link takes you to all of the Bread Camp sessions.

And Gourmandise will help you acquire other culinary skills, with videos on how to make butter from heavy cream, how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie, how to crimp a pie (my personal bugaboo), how to poach an egg, baking with your kids, how to repurpose leftovers and more. And please do me a favor: give yourself 5 minutes to giggle at the Couples Cooking Class video.

Follow the Gourmandise feed on Instagram @GourmandiseLA for live and archived videos; but if you want it all in one place, the YouTube channel is the way to go.

There’s also an offering from Vox Media, Eater at Home Virtual events, featuring a wide variety of name chefs and cookbook authors doing demos and answering questions from viewers, generally live at 2 p.m. PDT. Today in fact, you could be joining the Eater Book Club with Emma Straub, who discusses her newest book, All Adults here (comes out May 5) with Eater’s Sonia Chopra.

And on Saturday at 9 a.m. Pacific time, join renowned French pastry chef Dominique Ansel for a lesson on how to turn the bread laying around in your kitchen (maybe some of which you made thanks to Gourmandise!) into French Toast, with a chocolate ganache. Check in on Mondays to find the next week’s schedule. And join their live Instagram feed here:


So many people are turning to gardening both for solace and to grow their own food. Rishi Kumar turned his suburban tract home into an edible and sustainable paradise. Join Rishi for Kiss the Ground’s 3-week Regenerative Gardening Course. From beginner to master gardener, this 3-week course will teach you what you need to know to strengthen your local regenerative food system. Learn about soil health and regeneration, how to grow food anywhere and take a practical approach to vegetable and ornamental gardening.

Although the first class in the series took place yesterday, these sessions will be both live and recorded with lifetime access to the recordings, practical videos and a 20-page Regenerative Gardening written curriculum.

Live sessions will be offered and recorded from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, April 22 and April 29 (you’ll have to catch up on the first session online). The series costs $150 but sliding scale pricing is available. Email to request adjusted pricing. Click here to sign up for the course:

Westside-based Kiss the Ground’s website has many other helpful videos and lots of information about composting and links to many other resources. Find it all here:


Nikon is one of the most respected names in the camera business. Till the end of April, they are offering free photography classes online. You can choose Fundamentals of Photography, Environmental Portraiture, The Art of Making Music Videos, Discovering Macro Photography, Photographing Children and Pets and more. Nikon School online is free till the end of April. Sign up here:

Craft Contemporary Museum has launched its new website just in time to offer Craft at Home: Each week they’re bringing new tutorials to inspire personal craft projects. So far, you (or you and the family) could learn about how to make hammered flowers, marbled paper, landscape yarn painting and printmaking with bubbles.


Please don’t let your brain turn to mush. Science is not just fascinating, it’s also fun! Join The California Science Center online for their series Stuck at Home Science, to keep your kids’ brains (and yours!) active. Short videos introduce a topic, followed by an activity guide using easy-to-find household supplies, for at-home experiments and projects to make the learning hands-on experience (the better to learn with, my dear).

Learn how to build a car, explore germs and microbes, discover bird poop art and get the low-down on every kid’s favorite topic, Sticky Snot! Find it all here:

Sarah A. Spitz is an award-winning public radio producer, retired from KCRW, where she also produced arts stories for NPR. She writes features and reviews for various print and online publications.

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