Cooking with a New Friend

Today was a truly awesome day.  As I'd had to stay in Auckland for the weekend, (work) I borrowed Paul's car and drove way north of Auckland out into the country to visit a new friend (she wishes to remain nameless).  This friend works withe me but I actually was corresponding with her while I was in Canada.  She is also gluten free and has been having trouble with her gluten free baking.  Today we sorted all that out.

It was about lunchtime when I arrived and we got straight into making some hot cross buns.  We started off trying to use the breadmaker to do the mixing but it wouldn't do as it was told so she got her hands dirty - she kneaded the dough until she felt it change texture and she really enjoyed it.  I sat back and watched while she poked and prodded the sticky dough.  When we decided it was ready, we rolled it into a log shape on a floured bench and cut it up to make lovely buns.  The crosses were put on and then they were left to rise.  

My friend was very excited as she watched them rising slowing in the oven (it was a bit cold to rise in the open air so we popped them in the slightly warmed turned off oven).  If you'd like to try making these yourself the recipe is here - hot cross buns.

While waiting for the buns, we decided to make double chocolate chip cookies.  My new friend made these entirely on her own while I sat and watched.  I really enjoyed watching the joy on her face while she was seeing the amazing results she was getting.  Three trays of cookies later, she was one very happy camper.  The people at work are getting a treat tomorrow!

Husband, Howard came out warily to try the wares - he had experienced some of the gluten free disasters before but he was appropiately impressed.  He enjoyed a hot cross bun and a cuppa with us.

After our break, we made scones which I couldn't try because they had milk (not soy) in them but they looked better than the ones I make.  Well done!

It was wonderful to watch, throwing in the occasional bit of advice.  She was so happy to get the wonderful results she was getting.  

Before I sign off, I have to tell you that this kitchen is one I could spend my entire life in.  A place for everything and the view from the kitchen was just incredible, looking out over the valleys to the sea.

This day made me realise that I am really missing baking myself but also that I love to pass on my knowledge to others.  Will definitely have to arrange more of these wonderful cooking classes!