Spent the day after the cooking class taking it easy, looking at youtube videos like this one. I had an… interesting… day after I posted the last entry. It was the day of the cooking class. Twenty people had booked in to see me prepare 9 dishes using the thermomix, with special emphasis on the steamer (varoma). I had all day to prepare, because I cleverly scheduled it in the holidays. So I got up in the morning and was ready to get started.
First off I had to bake a gluten-free bread and a torta caprese (GF almond meal chocolate cake) to take to the class, with ganache icing on the top. No probs, I thought. I’ve made both of these a million times before. The bread went off without a hitch, but as I was baking the torta caprese my phone rang just as it was nearly finished. I looked at my phone, saw that it was someone who normally talks for a long time so turned the oven off to let the cake finish cooking as the oven cooled down. All well and good – except I switched the oven UP. Twenty minutes later there was burned torta caprese sitting on my bench, with a waste of ingredients and time. Terrific. Good on me.
While the second one was in the oven I popped up to the shops to get the ingredients I needed for the rest of the class. Two hours later realised I forgot the cream for the ganache, so had to race back. The rest of the day was spent chopping ingredients, weighing them, packing them up ready to go. This is the main reason I schedule my cooking classes for the holidays, because it’s easier if I have time during the day to prepare for them.
By the time I packed the car and was ready to leave, peak hour traffic was starting to clog the roads. I had to get to Mt Waverley by 5PM to get the keys from the lady from the council so I had to make tracks. I got to the hall, took possession of the keys and unpacked everything from the car. I laid out all the food on the big stainless steel bench and started going through the layout, putting each dishes ingredients on separate trays so that it was all organised for the class. Then I thought to myself, “I’d better get my thermomix out to make the green smoothie…” and then I went cold.
I’d forgotten to put my thermomix in the car.
I’d arranged for some of my team to bring theirs, but without mine we’d be one short, which isn’t ideal. My mind raced. Do I battle through a half hour of traffic home, pick up the thermomix and drive a half hour back, leaving the team to set up the furniture and get things ready? Do we just have two thermomixes and struggle through?
And then I realised that I was possibly able to get out of this.
You see, 21 years ago I made a person. This person was home when I left and this person also has his drivers licence. I rang Tom21.
“Tom21, are you at home?”
“Yes…?” he said.
“Look on the couch. Do you see the thermomix?” I asked.
“Oh shit!” he said.
“Can you get it to me? I need it here before the people arrive.”
Half an hour later he and Ryan18 came through the door with the thermomix AND the frozen berries that I needed for the soft serve icecream that was on the menu. Clearly I’d lost my mind somewhere along the way during the day.
The class itself went very well. There was only one near-disaster when I was making the moroccan warm pumpkin, chicken and couscous salad. The varoma (steamer) has two layers in it. I had the pumpkin and chicken in the bottom layer, with the couscous on the top in the flat tray. Midway through the cooking you have to give the pumpkin and chicken a stir, just to make sure the steam is getting through to cook everything through. No probs, I thought. I’ve done this a million times before. I popped the tray of couscous down on the bench, talking gaily to the class all the while as I stirred the pumpkin and chicken, then went to lift the couscous-filled tray back onto the varoma. As I lifted the tray, the corner of it clipped the thermomix and for a horrible half second I thought the front row was going to end up wearing the couscous. So did they. As I saved it we all breathed a sigh of relief and I cracked a joke and everyone laughed. But I had a vision in my mind of the couscous falling like a gentle rain down upon them. I can still see it now…
Anyway, sometimes things happen for a reason. At the end of the class a woman came up to speak to me.
“I’m going to become a consultant,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about it, but that couscous thing decided me.”
I looked at her in amazement.
“That is something that would SO happen to me,” she said. “You’ve given me confidence!”
Thermomix recipe: Warm Chicken, Pumpkin and Couscous salad.
I’ve never made the Italian option. I fell in love with the moroccan style the first time I made this and I’ve continued making it this way ever since. The dressing is GORGEOUS. (Plus you get dip as well!)