Red Bar Cooking Classes

As I’ve prattled on about before, it’s great to live in such a varied expat community, where I get to learn about all sorts of delicious foreign food. But occasionally…. I get to return the favour!

At school, we often get given food-related gifts. This is a bit of a Chinese thing. Since teachers in the public system are on quite a low salary, they get “bonuses” in the way of household goods. I’ve received crates of oranges, apples, cow’s milk, almond milk, a yoghurt maker and even a big pack of toilet paper (which was probably the most practical since the school toilets don’t have any! Maybe they’ll give me soap one day…).

Really, I shouldn’t be receiving these, but my wonderful, kind principal doesn’t like me being left out. So, I try to give back with the gifts by baking something with them (and no, you are not about to see a toilet paper cake). Because of this, I’ve earnt a bit of a reputation at school for cakes and often get a request for a lesson.

On a number of occasions, I’ve had a crowd of teachers piled into my tiny kitchen, marvelling at my oven (not a standard kitchen appliance over here). It’s lots of fun, and great for my language skills. The kids even turned up for the last one!


Mixing the mixture…

and doing the icing.

These ones are from my last school. I often intrigued the teachers with my leftover-dinner lunches.


This was a curry class.DSC_0803

More curry.DSC_9719a

And lasagne!

For anyone who would like to do a similar thing, I’ve translated a basic cake and muffin recipe. I’ve only done the ingredients because I visually teach them the method. I’d like to reference the recipes, but I’ve been using them for so long, I can’t remember where they came from. If anyone knows, please let me know.


125g butter 125克 黄油
1/2 cup sugar 1/2 杯 糖
1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 茶匙 香草精
2 eggs 2个鸡蛋
2 cups S.R. Flour(or 2 cups Plain Flour + 2 teaspoons of baking powder) 2杯 白面(或者2杯白面加2茶匙发粉)
1/2 cup milk 1/2 杯 牛奶

1杯 = 大概250毫升]


2 cups S.R. Flour(or 2 cups Plain Flour + 2 teaspoons of baking powder) 2杯 白面(或者2杯白面加2茶匙发粉)
1/2 cup sugar 2 勺子 白糖
1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/2 茶匙 盐
1 egg 1个鸡蛋
1 cup milk 1 杯 牛奶
1/4 cup oil 1 杯 油
Optional ingredients: 自选配料:
mashed bananas 烂糊的香蕉
dried coconut 干的椰子
orange rind + orange juice 橙子的皮 和 橙子汁
chocolate 巧克力
cooked apple 熟的苹果

Why the “Red Bar” you ask? That’s the name of our apartment, because our living room looks like this:




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