I received a request from a gentle-man wanting to book a lesson at The Country Cooking School for his girlfriend. He wanted to create a surprise for her birthday.
His thoughtfulness was impressive. It was a pleasure to host and plan an exclusive lesson and a country picnic for two.
We devised a custom-made, bespoke menu and picnic that would appeal especially to his girlfriend, Hester. They are both keen foodies who love to cook together, so t
he lesson plan was both challenging and introduced them to new ideas and techniques.
They learnt how to make and use Ricotta in Gnocchi and zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta also featured on the menu. We used the freshest produce foraged from the Te Puhi garden – (squeaky-fresh as the garden is less than a minute from the kitchen).
Foraging, a key part of the experience at the Country Cooking School, was appealing to our gentle-man when looking for “foodie” things to do in the Wairarapa.
We cooked and worked together during the class.
Hester and Ben enjoyed their first two (hot) courses on the outside deck before rambling out to a sheltered, private picnic spot by the brook, for the remainder of their four course lunch. They carried baskets full of provisions – wines, elderflower cordial, salads, a pan bagna and dessert – as well as all the trappings for a sophisticated picnic.
I wondered if Ben and Hester had gone missing as they didn’t reappear before 6pm. They wandered up eventually, oblivious of the time, happy and relaxed.
Hester had the best birthday present ever and Ben felt he couldn’t beat the experience, so he may have to book in again next year, to at least match it. I’m already planning, Ben!