Cooking Class

Ha! Take That, Westboro

Ha! Take That, Westboro
 I have 5 more days of FREEDOM and then it all starts again. *sob*
However, I already know what’s going to happen. I’ll spend these next few days frantically doing the weeding, the bookwork, the washing, filled with bitter seething resentment that I have to go back to work… then on Tuesday I’ll walk through those doors and see the people I work with and on Wednesday the students will be back and I’ll think, “I’m so lucky to work here. I love this!” Happens every time.

Saw this just now. We’ve had some weird eggs from the gerlies over the last couple of years but nothing like this.

Saw this about making sundried tomatoes. Pure genius! Urspo, this is something you could easily do in your climate.Unfortunately my tomatoes haven’t done so well this year. Last night we had a meal of ham and pasta using tomatoes from the plants Alyse from Philip Island gave me when I delivered her thermomix, so there’s hope yet. The tomato plants appear to be spending a lot of time growing foliage rather than anything edible. Still, I’ll file this away in Pinterest in case my tomatoes have a late run of fruitfulness.

Look at this zucchini slice recipe! I’m going to make it and cook it in my solar oven. I’ve been using the solar kettle during the holidays but I haven’t yet dragged the solar oven out, so this looks like the perfect chance to trial a new thermomix recipe and have a play with my zombie apocalypse insurance at the same time. It was one of the things I was going to do in the holidays and I need to tick it off my list.

I should tell you about the cooking class I did on Monday night. It’s the third one I’ve run, but my Group Leader Chris was doing most of the organising for the previous two, so this was the one where I stood up and did the lot. I was cool, calm and collected about it – until I got up on Monday morning, totted up all the names of the people who booked in and realised that we had over 40 people coming. Then the pressure was on.

I’d decided beforehand to prepare all the dishes myself while I had time in the holidays, so that then I could clearly explain to the team what each dish needs to look like when I was delegating things in the future. I started preparing and shopping and it took most of the day. As soon as I knew the numbers, I told asked the younger 3 boys to come and wash dishes for us. I had 4 girls working in the back and Chris was going to be up front with me, making sure I didn’t muck up, so I knew we’d need the girls for plating up and the boys to get the dishes clean. To their credit, after some initial eye rolling and sighing, they went to the beach for a few hours and came back in time to jump in the car with me and go to the hall. I won’t lie…. I was a bit stressed about it all during the day. You know how you’re safe in your comfort zone, then you try something way outside it and it’s scary? The talking in front of people part didn’t scare me… I’m a teacher after all. It was the cooking part; me not being a big foodie.
What if something didn’t work? (Yes, my nemesis returned… the sticky bread dough. But I made a joke of it and it was all good. Fortunately the bread (3 cheese and spinach) tasted great.)

What if I forgot how to do a recipe? (Yes. I started making the pesto without adding oil and vinegar. Fortunately after 2 seconds I realised and I added them after “checking the consistency”.)
What if I forgot to bring a necessary ingredient? (Yes I did. It’s hard to make Jaffa custard without the cocoa. So we made orange custard instead. I was just about to announce grandly to the audience that we were making Jaffa custard when I glanced at the tray of ingredients and saw that the cocoa was missing. I had that awful realisation that I’d screwed up, when you go cold and you remember NOW what you should’ve remembered before, but there was no time. My mouth was still saying the words in the sentence leading up to the fateful word “jaffa’… there was a heartbeat’s pause while my brain looked frantically at the tray, saw that at least I’d remembered the orange zest… then I heard myself saying “making…. orange custard” and the night went on.) Rookie mistake.

Apart from that it all went really well. I made most of the dishes, with Chris making the butter and the broccoli salad. A couple of times she’d chime in with things that I’d forget to say (which was fantastic) and the rest of the time we just chatted about what we were doing and fielded questions from the audience about what the thermmix can do and answering questions that the owners had about various dishes. At the end of the night we’d made two sales and two people asked about becoming consultants. Maybe they figured that if I could do it, then they definitely could! One of those people came to our Business Information Session the next morning (I was running that as well) and she signed up to do it, so I was really pleased at that outcome.

It was only in the car going home that Evan16 asked, “Did you know that the kitchen was full of smoke at one stage?”

“What?” I gasped. “What happened?”

The boys laughed.

“There was some oil or something spilled in the bottom of the oven,” David 19 said. “So when we turned on the oven to bake the bread the whole room filled up with smoke.”

“We tried to open the door to the hall and get your attention but you and Chris weren’t looking at us,” Evan16 said. “We didn’t want the smoke to go billowing in and cause a panic, so we shut the door again.”

“Then that Sri Lankan consultant, I forget her name, came in,” Ryan18 said. He laughed. “She came racing over and opened the oven. The smoke came out like crazy.”

They all laughed. I was laughing too. I could just imagine the panic. Apparently Jinji realised what the problem was and told them that it’d all be alright.

“Then she raced over to the door, opened it and walked out into the hall cool and calm, like nothing had happened,” said Evan16. “It was so funny.”

At one stage in the proceedings, I decided I wanted to catch a glimpse of the boys back in the kitchen. So I took the basil pesto I made and walked with it out to the kitchen while Chris was starting the butter and handed it to one of the team. I looked across at the sink on the other side of the room. The boys didn’t know I was there; they were in a line washing and drying the thermomix bowls and the plates and dishes. I gave a quick look at them and then marched back on stage into the hall. I can’t tell you how good it felt to have them there supporting me. They didn’t want to be paid and they didn’t ask for anything… they just came along and helped because I needed them. I’m really quite fond of them sometimes.

So the verdict? Cooking Classes? Easy peasey! Don’t know what I was stressing about.
Now I’m going to drag out the solar oven, make some soap and read a book. Not all at the same time. Aren’t holidays great?

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This entry was posted in Children., cooking, gardening, holidays, Just for fun., solar cooking, thermomix, vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Cooking Class

  1. Vinny Grette says:

    I wonder if these eggs will make an impact? Great in science class 🙂 http://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/blue-eggs-mmmm-good/

  2. Vinny Grette says:

    PS – I loved that account of the cooking class. I’ve used my book as a basis for cooking classes with kids and I agree it is a bit hairy. I’ve never had a complete disaster though (touch wood). A treacher used the book last year as well to run 6 weeks of classes – that took courage! http://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/mini-chefs-tackle-dishes-with-maxi-nutrition/

  3. Catherine says:

    Ohh I’m so glad the class went well. Well done on thinking fast regarding the cocoa. I would have been a stuttering fool at that stage. Good to hear the boys did a fantastic job too. Enjoy the last week of your holidays.

  4. Isabelle says:

    Ah, it’s the teaching training: that moment when you realise you’ve left your carefully prepared handouts in the office and you have thirty expectant faces looking at you. Improvise… though it’s easier when teaching English than when cooking, I’m sure!

  5. Urspo says:

    I didn’t get past the child’s response. That made me pause and reflect. I think the answer is spot-on to wit, we should always be open to the possiblity of changing our beliefs if logic/justice and truth say otherwise. “I love Plato, but I love Truth more”.

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