Cooking club members in the past three months have had
the opportunity to learn dishes from Yemen and Korea, as well as
developing their baking skills.
After a long year and several cooking sessions, the
members have been able to go from not knowing how to chop an onion, to making
restaurant worth dishes. Our last class will take place very soon as exams are
approaching. During this session, the students will face a cooking competition
in which they will showcase the skills they have learnt.
This Wednesday, during our CAS classes all the members decided to work on the cooking club activities. That day was the first time for myself to be cooking a dish using 2 full hours, since usually I have it on Fridays but with math the second hour.
At the beginning of the class, I was expecting to be working on the film club. However since the others were already planning to cook, I had no other choice but to join them as well. To be honest, I didn’t want to waste the 2 precious hours I have got and I happened to be a cooking club member, so I asked the manager for permission to join that day’s club. This is when I realized that the lack of communication can actually affect one’s activeness and productivity, and not just creating confusion.
That day we made a dish that is almost like a sautéed tuna salad but from Yemen, the home country of one of the managers. It was very interesting to hear that it is like a light dish, mainly a dinner dish easily made in Yemen, and that it can have any vegetable or meat in it, from potatoes to tomatoes. Unlike any other tuna salad made in France, this dish uses a special spice that creates the traditional, homey effect. Being in a small cooking club group, it felt like I could ask more questions and gain more knowledge about a country through a simple dish.
Again, because it was a smaller group than usual, there were more chances for me to take part in cooking this dish and it felt like I was able to train myself a little bit more. For example, usually in the Friday classes I was only able to cut the ingredients since that is the only step I can reach until the end of the hour. However this time, there was a variety of ways I could cook, such as cutting, mixing, sautéing, and putting everything together.
Whenever I am working on the cooking club activities, it always felt like it is something that could be easily done at home so I might not be able to gain anything from the activities. However this day it was different. I realized how communication with other members or colleagues can actually help myself obtain new information and can be a way to share each other’s weaknesses and strengths. Helping one if it’s something he/she finds difficult, giving tips on how something could be done faster or better, and developing conversation might not be something big and important now, but I know I would not regret it and in fact might be useful in the future.
COOKING CLASS #5: MINI CEVICHES DE ATUN AL AJONJOLÍ
½ Taza de Aceite de Ajonjolí
½ Taza de Jugo de limón
4 Chiles Morrones en Cubitos
4 Tomates en Cubitos
2 Cebollas Moradas en Cubito
Atún Fresco en Cubitos
Sal y Pimienta
Cebollín en lascas
Eneldo para decorar
Picar en cubitos todos nuestros vegetales y frutas, empezando por el chile morrón, luego cebolla, cebollín y terminamos con el tomate. Colocamos en recipiente. Luego picamos en cubitos el Atún fresco también y colocamos en un recipiente aparte.
Picamos la hierbabuena, colocándola en el recipiente aparte de nuestros vegetales y frutas, le introducimos el Atún Fresco. Mezclamos hasta que haya uniformidad.
Finalizamos agregando el Aceite de Ajonjolí , Limón , Sal Pimienta , hierbabuena y ajonjolí Negro.
*Se puede agregar fideo de arroz como complemento / decoración
Last Friday, we had our second cooking class. I was veryexcited for this one since what we were making was something from my culture
and I thought I could teach the other members how to make it. It was pork and
On Thursday, when all the cooking class managers proposed to
make dumplings, there were some students who didn’t know what they were. I was
honestly surprised because for Japanese people like me, it was something we eat
at least once a month and I thought it was well-known by other cultures as well.
Another thing I found interesting was the fact that, dumplings were famous for
having pork inside but due to religious reasons, we made half with pork (traditional)
and half with a tofu mixture. The idea that religious and cultural identities
have an effect on the food we make was something I haven’t thought about before
joining the cooking class.
On the actual day of the class, I brought my chopsticks and
a frying pan. I consider the cooking club to be an international activity
because what we make every month always has to do with a certain country or a
cultural background. Here when I brought the chopsticks and realized how some
people who usually use forks and knives actually know how to use them, it felt
like my culture has been accepted by another and I was very glad.
Since the cooking club manager had already made the mixture
of meat or tofu, soy sauce and other spices, our job was to chop the vegetables
(Chinese chives and carrots) into small bits and add them to the mixture. Since
I had class the other hour, I wasn’t able to help out with the frying/boiling
step, but I enjoyed chopping them and wrapping them up in dumpling sheets.
When we came up to the wrapping step, I realized that even
when we live in the same continent, there are different ways and meanings for
wrapping them up in a certain shape.
Firstly, I didn’t know that in Korea, wrapping the dumplings
up beautifully means you will have handsome sons. I personally haven’t heard
about that in my culture because instead we think that it doesn’t matter
whatever shape it is or if it looks nice, it only matters how much effort and
love you put into them.
Secondly, in Korea there are 2 ways for wrapping the
dumplings up when we only have one. One was to conceal the mixture inside the
sheet completely and another was to allow people to see how the mixture looks
like by not covering it up completely.
Overall, I had an amazing time teaching my classmates how to
wrap them and to chop the vegetables until they look like they couldn’t be
chopped any further. It felt great to teach them something you know only
because you come from a certain culture and you’re proud of it. In addition, there
was a variety in ways and ingredients we made them with (fried, boiled, tofu,
meat etc.). It was also nice to learn
how other countries make the food unique as well and so from now on whenever I
am making dumplings, I would remember this day and maybe teach my family what I
have learnt during this class.
Cooking club is a club where members from all over the world come together to create all sorts of dishes and to learn about the rich history behind them.The club started out as an idea from four students, who are really passionate about cooking, in order to explore cooking and to teach the classmates. As CAS students, we are constantly learning to be independent and cooking will be one of the ways to prepare ourselves as we head off to college.
The first dish we cooked was from Italy. The members of the club were taught how to make pasta from scratch as well as the tomato sauce.
The second dish we made was from Mauritius. A rich chicken with honey sauce was accompanied by French fries.
We used family recipes from the members’ and we did not only learn to cook but we also learnt about the culture.
We were quite successful in both of the cases, and the members enjoyed eating as well as cooking and discussing about the history behind them.
Finally, we are looking forward to discover more food from all of the world!
Last Friday during lunch, I had my first cooking club class with my classmates. We made chicken with honey sauce and french fries. Since I had a math class after that, I wasn’t able to try the chicken but I did try the fries. I felt a great sense of accomplishment and was very proud of the members I worked with.
During the entire process I realized how a cooking club class was not only an hour to learn how to make different types of food, but was also an opportunity to discover cooking tips from various countries and cultures. For example, although in my country Japan it is normal that we use the tip of the knife to cut out any potato eyes (since we consider it poisonous), in some cultures it is not an important process. Also the way most families wash the raw chicken before cutting it is not common in my country. What I learnt from this is that, every culture or country has its own sayings or ways of thinking towards specific cooking steps that are not common in other places. Whether if it’s the difference in the quality of the ingredients, the materials we use, or the specific safety hazards, it is important that we all accept each other’s points and utilise them.
Another great point about the cooking club is that we can distribute tasks and work equally so that everyone will be able to take part in the food-making process. This time I was responsible of washing and cutting the potatoes. Knowing your job and working on it constantly are ways to become more time-efficient, productive, and concentrated. I would like to use this strategy for my next session.
Overall, I enjoyed this hour very much and cannot wait for the next class.