I was assigned to teach one of these classes last September. It's difficult for the students to find the time to come, so there wasn't a huge turnout, but I ended up with a core group of 4-5 young women that showed up fairly regularly, and we began to have a lot of fun!
The class was held at the end of the day, so you can imagine that by the time it was over we were often feeling pretty tired and hungry. It was around that time that I started this blog, and one of my first posts was the Spooky Monster's Fingers that I made for Halloween. I took a few of these to class to share with the girls, and they were a big hit! This prompted a discussion about how much they would like to learn to bake delicious cakes and other western food, and about how much I would like to learn to cook Vietnamese food. Thus the idea was born: Staff Class Cooking Day!
The first order of business was to make a Mango Mousse Cake. I'd never made such a thing before, but it was Xuan's birthday the day before, and this was the birthday cake she requested. I wouldn't normally teach people to make something I've never made before myself, but after perusing some recipes I came up with some ideas I could work with, and we decided to give it a try.
|LSU Van beating eggs for the sponge cake base.|
|They were so excited, I couldn't even get in to supervise!|
|ELRC Van preparing mango to be pureed.|
When the mango mousse cake was done, it went in the fridge for the rest of the day to set.
We spent most of the rest of the day whipping up some Vietnamese food....look for my next post for details about that!
The other Western style dish we made was lasagna. Again, it was Xuan's request, as she was the only one who'd ever had it before! It was a bit questionable at first as to whether I'd be able to find the ingredients (you can get things here, but you can't always count on being able to get what you want when you want it!) but at the last minute I was successful!
Vietnamese people don't tend to eat a lot of cheese, so the amount of cheese that goes into my lasagna was a bit of a surprise to them! Especially to girls who have never seen a cheese grater before! ("Jenny, how do you do this without grating your fingers?")
|Tu, Xuan, and LSU Van enjoying their first taste of lasagna!|
Too bad we were SO full by this time we couldn't eat very much!
After the lasagna, it was finally time to take the cake out of the fridge. We all crossed our fingers that it would be set!
|The moment of truth.|
Is it set?
Stay tuned for Staff Class Cooking Day Part 2 - about the Vietnamese dishes we made!