In the Seven2SevenMom’s world, leisure doesn’t seem to exist when there are endless line-up of compulsory activities that fly by our household, from Saturday school classes for my UPSR-sitting Cheeky KoKo, his Boys Brigade weekly activities and extra-curriculum at school to Pumpkin Mei-Mei’s girls scout activities, compulsory extra school classes and play dates.
On top of that, we fit in our already-packed schedule with a weekly 40-minute drive up to a different town to visit the grandparents as well as a sacred weekly grocery trip (usually upon a shocking discovery that all snacks from milk to cookies literally vanished from our kitchen because the mom, guilty as charged, has neglected her kids’ snacking needs because of work.
So whenever someone who is still single asks me what I do during the weekend, I’d just take in a deep breather and not say anything at all. Seriously, where do I begin to describe what I actually do on my rest days, right?
Without the luxury of some me-time, the boundless energy that resides in this mama does run dry especially during work-intensive phase, such as this few weeks when all I am made to process, think, breathe and live in are all the tiny grains of the project details and task lists I am handling at work. It’s only when we go for a bicycle ride or swim and splash as a family that I can get my mind off my work and that’s about as good a chill-out option a mama can indulge in.
So when a group of ex-colleagues-turned-buddies suggested to throw a hen’s party in the form of a baking class for one of the girls, I stepped right in with both my hands waived high like a mad woman. I guess part of me wanted to feel young again with all the girly goss and silly laughter that have long eloped me ever since I left youth for motherhood (lol) and the other part was because I was so dying to learn to whip up some really delicious tea treats for my little ones. At least the minis won’t starved anymore, I assured myself.
After a nice brunch, we found ourselves creating quite a noisy scene as we arrived at The Cooking School in Sri Hartamas. Because my girlfriends and I went into the class as a group of giggly hens who chatted and laughed non-stop I am quite sure the school and other students have blacklisted us for the sheer noise that was bursting through the roof. And we weren’t even drunk! Imagine a random group of young managers and executives who became good friends working together and over the years went on separate corporate ways and now walk into a cooking class together as fellow hens! Who would have thought that we would one day measure and sift some flour, knead the dough and bake together, all in the name of hens fellowship!
While I can’t blow my own trumpet that my culinary skills has since been improved from no-where near passable standard to Master Chef status, the easy-to-follow recipes that our instructor Pei Ling shared and taught us has made even a cooking-challenged working mom now make her kids come back for more of her home baked goodies.
We learned to make Strawberry Frangipane Tart, Cranbery, Yoghurt and Apple Tea Cake, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Wrapped in Sour Cream Loaf and Buttermilk Scones all within four hours. There was hands-on group baking session for the Tea Cake and Scones whereas the Tart and Loaf were demonstrated to us with detailed explanation over every tips and steps.
And the cost for this self-improvement? A mere RM150 per person which also includes free afternoon tea or coffee as we enjoyed the delectable spread of our very own home-made desserts and savoury yummies..
Apart from the step-by-step demonstration of each recipe from mixing to baking, we were also given handy tips on the optimum ways to use each ingredient and baking tool. For example, when making butter crumbs, the butter is not supposed to have been thawed to room temperature, which my girlfriends from the other group did. Instead one should take it from the fridge to the mixing bowl to be mixed with the flour straight away to make sure that the baked crumbs come out just crunchy with a nice camel colourWe were also shown which baking tools were essential to have around the kitchen, something that might have come all common sense to an experienced chef or mom chef, but certainly an eye opener for an untalented mom such as yours truly.
At the end of the session, we even made some coffee and teas and enjoyed our own baked cakes and scones on the spot, mixed with lots of girly chatters and photo sessions with the glowing bride to be.
To think that I did not fail the baking class and now know how to put my oven and cake mixer to more productive use was totally a sweet spot!