Jess Invades Kathy’s Kitchen

Baking is in my blood. On my mother’s side of the family, the women are well equipped to make good old Aussie favourites which are always best shared. My mother makes killer scones and my Auntie Trisha has shortbread hearts perpetually stocked in her pantry. I used to make patty cakes every other weekend, chocolate, naturally. But today, I may have gone a little more “Yankee” than usual.

Brownies. I made brownies. American style.

My friend Fumiko booked us into “Kathy’s Kitchen“, and the name is exactly what it means. There’s a Japanese lady, called Kathy. She hosts baking classes in her kitchen. And it. Was. Awesome. Kathy herself was a baker for Sarasa before she went off on her own and started making a killing out of the home baking biz. Because the classes are run out of her own home, there are only four people permitted per lesson and Fumiko booked us in six to seven weeks in advance. That’s how popular her classes are!

The lessons are done in Japanese, but I was able to understand most of what was being explained and Kathy provided a few translations here and there with the more technical stuff. It felt like being back at home, even though I’d never before made brownies from scratch. Kathy is one hard core baker – she sells spices and other ingredients she’s mixed and packaged herself, as well as moulds and trays for pies/muffins/cakes. Her repertoire isn’t limited to the sweet stuff either. There’s “spice cooking” every two or three months, usually involving an East Asian recipe such as Indian curry. There’s also advanced baking (we did the basic course), seasonal ingredient cooking and international cooking among other options.

Kathy’s Kitchen is in Ichijoji, a little more north than I’m used to but worth the visit. Look out Auntie Pauline’s pavlova. I’ve got brownies.

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