Friday, October 1, 2010

What's Cooking?

The last weekend Farmdoc and I were in Victoria we taught a cooking class at the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre.

I used to be a keen cook. I did a course at the Cordon Bleu School of Cooking in London back in the day, and I cooked for our household of six for years, sometimes serving up five different meals to cater for vegetarians, dieters and those who wouldn't eat anything that was coloured orange.

Once the kids left home writing became my priority. I began to look on cooking mostly as something that took me away from what was important.

But our community-minded daughter Meg believes that everyone has something they can teach others, and she is very persuasive. There are dishes that have remained part of my regular repertoire and it was those that Meg thought I could teach. Teamed with Farmdoc's great bread-baking skills we put together a class that went into the program as Basic Jewish Cooking. We taught challah (the plaited egg loaf eaten on the sabbath), chicken soup, matzah balls and honey cake.

It was a lot of work to prepare. Farmdoc broke every recipe down into individual actions and compiled lists of ingredients and equipment we'd need. We weren't sure dishes would turn out well because the centre's oven cooks unevenly. But the food was delicious and the class was a lot of fun. I think our students enjoyed it; we definitely did. We were lucky to be assisted by Meg and our granddaughter, Indigo.

I'm grateful to Meg for giving us the opportunity to share some of the knowledge and skills we have and encouraging us to teach the session. There's something elemental about preparing and breaking bread together and it was nice for Farmdoc and me to combine our artistic and scientific approaches. We're already planning what we'll teach next year.

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