June 25: Cookie baking class
by Mie
We have a "Cookie baking class" today at the meeting house of Oita Group of Friends. All the ingredients are carefully measured and baking tools are to be prepared without fail in advance.
We will have a food tasting after the baking. The reception table is now ready as well by Ms. Takeuchi. Participants will get a recipe in exchange with the today's class charge ( 500 yen per head.)
At the window are many brought-in seasonal flowers like hydrangea, Japanese spiea (Spiraea japonica L.f.), and Confederate rose. The sample of the cake to be baked today and tea set are neatly arranged on the table.
The class started at 10 a.m. Ms. Tanaka, today's leader - leftmost-, made a few words and introduced the participants. From left: Ms. Matsumura who works behind the scene, Ms. Kawano, Mie, and Ms. Hirano.
Ms. Hirano first explained how to make "Oatmeal cookie." She stressed the importance of careful measurement of the ingredients, proper usage in proper timing.We have learned much from her easy-to-understand teaching. Country-like cookies were baked successfully - the size were a little bit larger, though.
Next, Ms. Kawano tries Conconble, then I explained how to make cheese cracker. For making cheese cracker, weak flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder are to be mixed and kneaded well (left.) The dough will be then rolled out and punched out using molds (right.)
Ms. Kawano was kneading the ingredients and finally made the dough. All the students tried to roll the dough into round shape with 16 grams weight each (left.) After maturing them for a while, the ball is rolled into cylindrical shape on the table. It is not so easy to roll them out straight. They will be arranged on the pad and baked in the oven.
Oatmeal cookie, cheese cracker, and Conconble were baked and distributed to the students for tasting. Next step was how to prepare black tea correctly. The student are watching carefully and taking memo eagerly.
Ms. Hirano demonstrates how to prepare black tea. Black tea leaf is to be measured by a spoon for one cup of the tea and put into the glass pod. Fresh water is to be boiled well and poured into the pod at a stroke. Watch the "jumping" of the leaves carefully. After they are precipitated, pour it up to the last drop into the tea pod warmed in advance. The bitterness and sweetness of the black tea release the wonderful aroma in the room. We pleasantly discussed the making of the day over the products we have just baked.
In the back of the room, they sell many kinds of the ingredients and c
baking utensils of the day. Many participants bought them for instant review in their homes.
After the lunch, the teachers reflected todays class. It was encouraging to hear the voice of the students who said they were very glad to learn the process in detail and made up their mind to try it soon. The preparation time was not enough, some reviewed, but it was very good that three teachers and Ms. Matsumura, the supporter in the back stage, could cooperate smoothly.

We made up our minds anew to continue to bake cookies more carefully through the experience of the day.

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Oita Group of Friends