Saturday, June 25, 2011

MasterClass with Anna Gare

I decided it would be so much fun to have room service while staying at the hotel - so we ordered a Continental breakfast (for 1 person) to share. And there was more than enough for us.
Rachel then wanted to have a quick swim so we headed to the pool. She did try but decided the pool was just too cold. I think the knowledge of how warm that spa was, was in the back of her mind - so she headed over there instead and had another fun time.
By 8:30 we were back in the room. Rachel was pleased to have another cup of hot chocolate to warm up and we shared the muffins (which we had kept from breakfast). She had a cup of hot chocolate last night - one of the only free things in the room's bar. All the other snacks were very tempting but we definitely did not need any more food (and definitely not at those prices).
By 8:45 we were checking out. Giving ourselves 30 min to walk the 1km to the cooking venue. As we were walking to the door though (and getting our jackets on) a family came up and asked if we were there for the MasterClass. When they heard that we were planning on walking they offered to give us a lift. The husband's work was just a block away and his car was parked there. So we had a very short walk and arrived at the venue with plenty of time to spare. At one point the rain was pouring down outside and we were so very thankful we did not have to walk in that. We thank the Lord for providing in this practical way. We had been more than happy to walk (after all - it would have been shorter than us walking to and from our post box) but the Lord knew how blessed we would feel by this kind offer.
This first thing was for all the children to get their personalized aprons. You can imagine how the excitement was building within Rachel. She was just buzzing.
Anna then introduced herself and chatted a bit with the children before starting the first part of their MasterClass - showing them how to make Chicken Bonbons.
It was so unreal to be sitting there chatting so someone we have seen on TV so much. Even at this point it was an experience to remember.
It was also lovely to get to know her a bit more too. As she cooked she gave food tips but also told lots of stories about her 7 foot something husband and her 4 children. One of the funniest things was to hear about her home which has been designed to make her husband feel comfortable. She said that when she sits on the toilet she can swing her legs. The kids all loved that. She also said that from coming from home with everything bigger than normal to the Junior MasterChef Kitchen (where everything had been made smaller) she felt like she was Alice in Wonderland and had eaten something that made her grow.

Then it was time for the children to do their own Chicken bonbons. Rachel was pared up with a little boy who is not quite 5 yet. So they shared the jobs as much as possible but often the boy just did a little and then left it up to Rachel. First step was flattening out the chicken a bit.
Bonbon ready for the oven (with a slightly fuzzy photo - sorry).
As Rachel's bonbon was ready before a few of the others I was able to get a photo with her and Anna. Anna kept saying how Rachel looked so similar to her niece.
Then Anna demonstrated the Vegetable Fritters (and told some more stories) and the children got busy on theirs. Rachel's partner did some stirring and was more than happy with just putting one spoon of mixture in the pan. So Rachel got quite a bit of time to practice. She did really well too - none of her fritters fell apart (and there where quite a few crumbled ones when looking around).
Once the bonbons were cooked and the fritters were ready Anna cut the bonbons for the children. I think she was excited about having a look at each of them too. She was so impressed with what they had done.

Then it was time to eat.
Thankfully there was enough for the parents to have some too. It was really good. I can see Rachel wanting to make this for Nana and Grandpa when we visit in SA next year.
There was a photographer from the Sunday Star Times taking photos through the whole session. Hopefully we will be able to get a copy of the paper with their photos in. He wanted a nice big group photo too. So all the parents took the opportunity to get some photos too. Thankfully the lady who organized the day got a copy of the previous paper which had Rachel's photo in as one of the winners. So nice for her to have a copy to keep.
Then Anna signed a copy of her new book for each of the children and they each got a lovely big rucksack filled with goodies. This book is "hot off the press" and Anna said she has only seen one book before today - so it was even nice for her to see a big pile of 14 books (especially shipped out from Australia for the children). Even her mother does not have a copy yet. It's only coming out later this year - so a real treat.
To think we don't normally watch anything on Prime TV and it was only because someone at Brendon's work told him about the Junior MasterChef show that we started to watch. I am so pleased we entered the competition they advertised and we both thank the Lord for allowing Rachel to be one of thousands of entries to be chosen to have this amazing experience. It truly will be something she remembers with fondness for the rest of her life. "Thank You Lord."
There was a NewWorld just down the road from the kitchen and they had a nice little coffee shop attached so we waited their for Michelle to pick us up. Rachel had her first "fluffy" and enjoyed unpacking her "goodies bag" to see what she was given. You can tell that Easyo was a major sponsor for today. :-) We also got a text from Brendon to say that Goodman Fielder had sent a  HUGE food package that arrived this morning. Rachel is excited about seeing that when we get home tomorrow.

It was lovely getting to visit with the Campbells again. They were all very surprised when Prince came into the room, came straight over to me and jumped on my lap. Apparently he never sits on a strangers lap. So some how baby must have attracted him.

The boys had saved up money and bought themselves a WII which they were pleased to show Rachel.
A friend of mine had mentioned these new Cadbury chocolates - the mousse range - and so I hunted them out when we were at the NewWorld and we enjoyed them for desert this evening. We had just been talking about some favourite SA treat and Michelle had mentioned how much she likes Inside Story. Well when we tasted the Hazelnut chocolate it tasted just like an Inside Story. We also made sure we bought extra of the chocolate so that Dad could try it too.

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