Once upon a time, I was given the great privilege of having my own cooking class. Two nights a week, for an hour & a half per class… 12 little humans would flood into the kitchen with smiles on their faces & line up in a neat little row to be fitted with their miniature red aprons.
It was the most adorable thing I had ever seen. All these eager, tiny humans full of enthusiasm, laughter & hugs would gather around my table & anxiously await what was about to come.
I’m not going to lie, it was no easy challenge to impart cooking wisdom on a class with an average age of 6yrs, but it was the best time of my life.
They would chase each other & crawl under the table. They’d cry if their adorable little mitts would get covered in dough & ended up a sticky mess. They’d hold my hand & tug on my apron…. & every last one of them would watch with awe & amazement as they gathered around the stove or oven to see their creations come to life. I’d take turns picking each one up so they could stir the pot or help me chop an ingredient.
I’m not going to be so brazen as to say I could manage this group on my own. I couldn’t. Lucky for me, I always had an assistant. Sometimes even two if one of my friends felt so inclined as to come to the class with me & be an honorary chef & babysitter. Still, for as chaotic & loud as those sessions could be… my heart was happy.
Then of course, the Greek economy took a real nose dive & my classes were an unnecessary financial luxury that parents couldn’t quite justify. I understood. I was sad of course, but I’m a logical enough person to know that drastic times call for conservative measures.
Last night, I finally got that feeling back. There wasn’t a classroom or a hoard of children… but there was an eager student & a skype connection.
Let me clarify. A friend in Texas loves moussaka… & after seeing my post (whenever it was), he contacted me to enquire whether or not I’d be willing to teach him how to make it. If you know me, you know there is no way I would say “no” to that request. I love to share the knowledge I’ve acquired. It fills me with a sense of purpose. I also think it’s the only fair thing to do. Countless chefs have taken the time to enlighten me & help me hone my own skills over the years, & being able to share that is the least I can do. Not to mention, I just love seeing people being passionate about food & admire anyone who wants to improve their skills. Lets be honest, cooking is no longer something a 50s housewife would do because it was her duty… it is an art form & an expression of love. What better way to bring people together???
Right, so back to my story. I sent him off to the grocery store with a list of ingredients (note to self: remember to list ALL ingredients. Just because something is an automatic staple in my kitchen, doesn’t mean it is in someone else’s). & last night, after a couple of amarettos, I signed onto skype & began to talk him through the process. It took a total of two hours, a lot of witty sarcasm & snipes from both sides, and a good amount of laughter, but we got there.
& let me tell you. I had FUN!
This morning I received a text & a photo… I won’t include the photo since I haven’t had his permission to publish his face (still waiting on the OK), but since the text doesn’t reveal his identity.. I will share that & his final dish (he burnt it just a touch, but that’s ok).
Reading that message plastered a smile across my face so big that it made my cheeks hurt.
Any way, that’s my story. I’m still happy. I got another one a little while later asking if I’d teach him something else in the future. Of course, I agreed with a little jump for joy…..