Sometimes you just need to do something completely different and break the routine, clear your head and feel refreshed. So rather than working last Wednesday, one of my oldest friends and I took a cooking course in the country with the renowned Australian chef Annie Smithers.
For the last six or more years, just before Christmas, this friend and I set aside a full day for baking sweet Christmas goodies. We're both pretty into cooking and the day is super fun, though it's often 12+ hours of prepping and cooking, so full-on! But we're getting a little tired of our repertoire, so by doing this course, the Christmas Baking Masterclass, we thought we could get some fresh ideas to be added to our production line.
Annie covered 10 recipes, including classics such as mince pies and fruit cake, to florentines and even nougat. There was no mucking about - we had to stick to a tight schedule to get through everything - and much was learned, as it's so great observing a professional chef. We then checked out Annie's amazing and massive garden, where she grows produce for du Fermier, her bistro in Trentham. While we did this, Annie made us lunch - some delicious roast chicken and homegrown asparagus sandwiches, with mayonnaise she had just whipped up in front of us.
Here are the rest of the some photos I took at the course. I'll also make sure to take photos of the annual Christmas cooking day, which will happen sometime in December, and share them here, along with a recipe or two.
So next time you need to clear your head and reset, do something you really want to do rather than what you always have to do. You won't regret it and no doubt your work and your life will benefit from you being refreshed and rejuvenated. And as an aside, I've been so inspired by Annie's garden that I've spent hours and hours since then in my own garden, prepping and planting summer seeds and seedlings. Fingers crossed I will soon have some produce I'll be able to share here. And I want a mini greenhouse. They are amazing!