|Datin Faridah , the chairperson of the Woman's Auxillary. Her involvement began in 1978 but she doesn't count the years. She just keeps coming back|
I have a love affair with the cookery classes tucked away in a room at the Spastic Children's Association of Selangor and Federal Territory, Petaling Jaya. This happens monthly and I mark it down in my diary. Daresay, few people know of the work behind the scenes, a no - frills cookery demo by guest chefs that starts with the act of giving, from the heart.
What started in 1966 as a humble effort by some expatriates to raise funds to provide meals, and some basic necessities for the disadvantaged children who come to the Centre for therapy, and still continues to this day, under a relatively unknown group of The Women's Auxillary, is highly commendable. Previously many other programmes were tried out to reach out to a captive public and members. Happily, the proven success lies in cookery. FOOD it is! It brings people together and is charity through the stomach. The Committee comprises 14 ladies, helmed by Datin Faridah plan the programmes to support the activities at the Centre and help source funds.
That particular morning, it was Chef Nermala with her recipe of Barbarian bread to eat with Chicken Stew and Rock and Roll Lasagne recipe. Luckily the rolls of lasagne stayed put on the layer of spinach and button mushroom, held back by a layer of sauce ! I was keen to learn how to cook the stew ala' Nermala's way. Methinks it harks back to the days in the UK when I was a student. I had my fair share of stews, nice and nifty dishes, if one is innovative enough. After the session was over, all of us got to taste it. Verdict - you'll certainly polish it up and leave your plate squeaky clean!
Mind you, at the cookery demo one gets to meet some old timers who support the event, rain or shine even if it ain't totally cookery for them. After all, food and mixing around people makes life more fun. It is hard for any newcomer to feel out of place for the fellowship just transcends age, status whatever. In fact, often enough jokes are interspersed in the session. The chef then knows its time to to bring the 'jokers' back into the cooking!
For the entry fee of a mere RM15, arm yourselves with all the questions you want to ask of the chef and zoom in on his or her culinary secret of that perfect dish. There's always a lucky draw. That's when the decibels increase as excitement rises. Needless to say it all adds to the vibrancy of the morning. Little prizes are given to the lucky winners for the small token of one ringgit per ticket. It all translates into the sen and ringgit which in turn brings food to delight the hungry ones during break time.
The morning ended with a small sampling of food from the dishes cooked , supplemented by some other dishes contributed by members. When the food was eaten, I couldn't help but feel thankful for whatever was served. For food that is always cooked and served with love.
|A room filled to the brim with Chef Nermala introducing her Western menu|
|Scooping a tablespoonful of cheese mixture onto the strip of lasagne and rolling it into a tube|
Everyone's interested in knowing the ins and outs of cooking
|Above the appetising base of spinach and button mushroom goes the lasagne with cheese mixture wrapped in it|
|What's in the name - Barbarian Bread? I tasted it and found it wholesome and decent!|
|Patience is a virtue when it comes to stews. Wait for it to be ready - you will be amply rewarded.|
Participants having a small sampling of the Barbarian bread with some bits of the chicken stew.
|Another fund raiser - home made muffins . After this shot was taken, all the muffins were sold!|
|If you want your number called, increase your chances - buy more and give charitably|