Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Our first cooking class in four months was a great experience for everyone involved. It was the culmination of a seven night stay for our beautiful guests who booked directly with us. A sensible choice as what they would have paid in fees to Third Parties was better spent on the class on site. For our part, we hadn't been this excited to host guests in a long long time!!
Our guests also booked lots of our home made traditional meals for their break, which meant they could work in the peaceful setting of Fifth Ave Katoomba Retreat (it was a work-ation) and take breaks in the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Mountains, without having to worry about cooking. I must say, there's something about being outdoors that gives you a good appetite and they reported back to us that all meals were spot on!
Joined by one of their friends, a Blue Mtns local, our Pasta and Sauce Making Class was lots of fun. We started mid morning with making the pasta dough by hand, talking about different options – ours being plain flour and water, no egg. We then moved onto how to make a basic tomato based pasta sauce whilst the dough was allowed to rest.
A few traditional hand made pasta shapes were demonstrated by myself and my mother including Ferretti, which are hand rolled pasta shapes rolled onto a thin piece of metal, ours being a thin knitting needle. This elicited a few oohs and aahs from the cute results produced! Another hand made shape was the Farfalle, Italian for Butterfly, commonly sold in supermarkets as Bow Ties, a great rainy day activity with a few good friends around. Kids especially love this activity.
It was then time to move onto making Fettuccine with a pasta machine, the participants confessing they had a machine in the pantry somewhere but it had never been used. I had to admit to the same. My machine had been in my pantry for 20 years before I thought I should give it a go. It's not scary at all :)
In between rolling out sheets of pasta, everyone took turns checking on the sauce simmering in the background. And my trusty assistants, mum and my sister, An were preparing our lunch which the participants got sneak peaks of, even learning a few tips on how to do the same at home.
Just when we thought we'd worked for our lunch, the next step was to cut the sheets to length and then feed through the machine to cut into beautiful strands of Fettuccine. This parts always gets oohs and aahs :) We simply must get this on video at some stage!
A short break for everyone except the assistants, and soon we were sitting down to a beautifully laid out table ready to enjoy some appetisers typical of our family gatherings. From oyster mushrooms mixed in with porcini mushrooms all the way from our relatives in Italy to wild greens and homegrown green beans so fresh you would not recognise this taste from store bought in all honesty. A refreshing Caprese salad, and mum's delicious Pita Bread, made on the spot. It can be hard to stop at one ...
A tip to take home was to cook the freshly made pasta just before it is to be served. So once we'd enjoyed our appetisers and a glass of wine, the pasta was cooked in all of three minutes before being served with the very tasty sauce made by the class. At this point, the conversation typically lulls. You simply have to savour every mouthful of the silky smooth strands of pasta rather than waste energy on talking. We should film this part too :)
The friendly chatter started up again over a relaxed setting with everyone feeling comfortable and well fed. And all of our classes include an Italian dessert of some type, this class saw mum's homemade Granita al Limone made from the bountiful lemons produced this year. It's a good option after a big meal as it's refreshing and light and definitely not too sweet.
All in all, a most enjoyable day spent together with some lovely people and extremely generous at that. They bought some of our Gourmet Gift Boxes to take home and left 5 Star Reviews on Google. As a small business, we can't ask for more than that. It's humbling especially after the year we've all had. So an enormous thank you to Barbara, Michael, Ros and Bernard. We can't wait to welcome you again at your next class with us.
Ask us about our Accommodation and Class Packages, should you wish to make a weekend of it in the beautiful Blue Mountains. See the Classes Description page for more information.