London Olympics are in full swing. As I watch the coverage on TV, I feel a sense of longing … “Oh! I wish I was there”. Since it’s too late to book flights and what not, I opted for the next best thing… an English cooking class at Rhubarb Kitchen in Darien.
Founded by two lovely ladies, Becs (from the UK) and Lisa (from Ireland), the school offers many different types of cooking classes showcasing all the traditional recipes that the British are renowned for. From traditional three course meal to British summer puddings to traditional afternoon tea – you can take your pick.
Run in a home kitchen and completely hands-on by design, these classes offer you an opportunity to learn by trial. At the end of the class, you get to sit down at a beautifully laid table, with your fellow classmates and enjoy the delicious spread that you helped prepare.
I love my tea and so I decided to attend the British Afternoon Tea class last Saturday. Lisa and Becs gently and patiently led our intimate class of twelve through many different recipes with great ease. We made three different kinds of finger sandwiches, strawberry jam, plain and raisin scones as well as cream puffs (not the kind we get in US…this crumbly cookie-like treat was to die for).
We were offered a glass of “bubbly” as soon as we got there. The easy-going personalities of Lisa and Becs set the tone for the class. Everyone immediately felt comfortable with each other and by the end of the class, when we all sat down to tea, we felt like we were sipping tea with our long-time friends.
We learned the secrets of making elegant and delicious sandwiches. The recipe for the light and airy scones was so easy! Did you know that, only plain scones were traditionally enjoyed by the British. Lately, however, many different flavor variations have become popular and mainstream.
How easy it was to make a simple strawberry jam! And how delicious it was with the fresh scones we baked! We learned that the same basic strawberry jam recipe could easily be transformed to many other flavors. I plan to experiment with blueberries, one my favorite fruit flavors.
There is nothing like biting into a perfectly baked scone coming straight out of the oven, is there? Mmm…
We learned about clotted cream and got to try it with our scones. We made a really simple butter cream for our cream puffs. My creative juices were stirring as I thought of all the variations I could make with these easy recipes to bring unique flavors and colors to my next afternoon tea table.
For more information on upcoming classes visit, www.rhubarbkitchen.com