To me, the words “cooking” and “fun” have always been mutually exclusive. Words that come to mind when I think of “cooking” are “disaster”, “waste of time” and “washing up.” However, I find that I can only eat out 3-4 times a week before I start running out of options and would rather have something home cooked. I enlisted the help of Angela Day cooking school to get me started, and I left feeling a whole lot better about the seemingly daunting task of preparing a meal at home.
Most Joburgers who are interested in food will be familiar with The Star’s Angela Day column- the first column was written in 1964. Since then, Angela Day has produced more than 12 bestselling cookbooks, growing from a small black and white recipe column to a full food feature in The Star newspaper twice a week. Angela Day also runs a help line service where you can get advice on any household or cookery problems. Call 0118367181 – Mon to Fri 8.30am to 12.30pm.
Part of this growth has involved the establishment of a cookery school at the Lifestyle Centre in Rand Park Ridge in 1999, which offers cookery demonstrations and hands on cooking classes for individuals and groups.
Monthly cookery demonstrations are sold out within hours of being advertised, and are presented on a variety of different topics such as bread baking, cooking with mangos, food and beer pairing or Baking for Easter. The most popular hands on classes are currently Italian cooking and a course called “Cook Like A Chef” which helps novice cooks improve their cooking skills. Most of the classes are held during the week in the evenings. It was a mission to get there after work, but we made it.
Being a fan of Italian food, I enrolled in a pasta making class along with about 15 other people, all strangers, taught by Brigitte Tomma, the school’s resident Italian teacher. Tomma studied gastronomic science in Italy and travels there at least twice a year to lecture at an Italian university, as well as develop recipes for a pasta producer.
We started off with a demonstration on how to make a basic pasta dough, the ingredients for which are simply eggs and flour. Each group was then given a different recipe such that the group as a whole got to make practically every type of pasta there is, including ravioli, tagliatelle,and spaghetti. This involves feeding the pasta dough through a machine multiple times, until you’re left with a paper thin sheet, which you then cut according to your preference.
Upon completion, we sat down on the deck outside and got to dig into the Italian feast, which comprised around 12 seafood, meat, chicken and vegetarian pastas. My favourite was the dessert- cannelloni with a white chocolate filling.
I had a lot of fun putting our dish together, but it did get quite tiring being on my feet for 2 hours on a weeknight- thank goodness I didn’t have to worry about doing the dishes! Does homemade pasta taste WAY better than boxed pasta? It tastes fresher and lighter, but I’m not sure that it’s worth all that effort 🙂 For a dinner party, or a way to entertain friends- maybe. The cooking class was fun to do as a couple and was just something different from what we usually do. The schedule is up on www.angeladay.co.za if you’re interested. You can also call 011 791 1304.