For Christmas I received a voucher for a Red Lantern dinner party cooking class at the Sydney Seafood School in April. I also got a voucher for a breadmaking course at the Bourke Street Bakery. I decided to make a weekend of it, to catch up with people I hadn't seen for ages and to see Madama Butterfly with my friend Soph.
The weather fairies were smiling on me as I avoided fog, which would have delayed my flight, and rain, which would have made watching the opera very soggy indeed. In fact everywhere I went I was early, which is a very unusual thing for me to do, but then maybe when you aren't chasing two small people, more likely.
We arrived very early for the cooking class on the friday night. I settled in thinking with slothlike delight that this would be a watch and feed kind of class, which I was just in the mood for (I had sore ankles as I was breaking in a new pair of boots). After the rest of the class arrived (mostly glamorous women wearing gold and sequins) we were told that we would watch Mark prepare the dishes, then go into the next room and repeat. Drats. Mark, as you would expect, made it look easy, but we soon discovered, with two gas burners down and no one watching the caramel, that it was not. We eventually ate at 9pm and gave up all thoughts of sneaking over to star for a messina gelato, as we were chock full of snapper salad, crab and vermicelli soup and red sticky rice with (ahem) coconut caramel sauce.
The Bourke Street Bakery breadmaking course was fantastic. It was fun, well organised and I left with lots of bread (cooked and uncooked) as well as a small amount of starter. Normally in every cooking class there is a smarty pants who just wants to show off but there wasn't in this one. Delightful.
And I got one of these for afternoon tea. Like I was hungry!