Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cooking Class

            In our village, most of people love eating pizza and pies and breads…all things that require an oven to make. People have asked often if I can teach them how to make pizza or cake. The problem is that most homes don’t have an oven. They have stove tops or open fireplaces.

            Recently, my friend Cecilia asked if she could come by when I was making pizza so she could learn. (She knows that we eat pizza most Fridays!)  When she showed up, she was accompanied by her brother and her niece. They all wanted to learn how to make pizza! Luckily, I had been experimenting…

            Once upon a time, in a land far away...also known as Idaho, friends taught us how to make pizza on the grill. So I decided to teach my friends how to make personal pizzas on the comal, or flat grill that’s placed over the fire or on the gas stove. It was the same idea as cooking on the grill. My new cooking class was amazed at how quick and easy it was to make pizza! And they could even do it on their stoves or over the fire in their home.

            After tasting the pizza, they got to talking amongst themselves. What kind of cake do you know how to make? What about pie? As I listed off the things that I could teach them, we decided on apple pie.

Step 1
Slicing the Apples
            The next day, my three students showed up, ready to see what it takes to make an apple pie. We peeled and cut the apples. We measured and mixed the flour and other ingredients. I showed them how to roll out the pie crust and then let each of them have a turn too. Theo was a good sport! He jumped right in too!


    There are moments when I’m amazed that I’m the one teaching cooking. I mean, my sister is the one who studied culinary arts. And my old college roommates can attest, I wasn’t really into cooking back in the day. Or my Iowa neighbor Linda is quick to remind me not to forget the eggs! (Do you know what rhubarb muffins look like if you forget the egg? Yeah, I do.) But, here I am…the expert in pizza and apple pie. (Is there anything more American?)

    So, we sat and waited for the pie to bake…and then to cool. It was a fun hour and a half of building relationships. We talked about what else I could teach them to bake…and then what they could teach me to cook. Often the three of them would discuss plans, ideas, and events in the ZK language…and Clay and I would listen.

Some things we could understand. Other things we couldn’t. It felt like we were just eavesdropping. But the great thing was that they know we are trying to learn their language and they want us to understand. They were okay with letting us listen in on their conversation. I think that may be the beginning of a great friendship!
The pies turned out perfect!

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