12 CH12: Cooking class

    "No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing."

    - Julia Child


    It was a tiring day for Delilah. She had worked nearly 12 hours in a day, just so she can get half-day off this Friday. She had worked extra hours until late evening.

    The reason as to why she had asked for a half-day off was because the cooking class that she would like to attend was on a Friday afternoon. It was a mistake on her part. She did not read the message her cousin sent to her carefully. Her cousin, Shay, had asked her whether she wanted to join a cooking class. Though, it was more of a burger making class.

    Without thinking twice, Delilah immediately agreed. She had been wanting to join a class but she either had no time or she had no one to go with. And since Shay will be joining in, Delilah wanted to go as well.

    After confirming their booking, Shay had sent Delilah the details of the cooking class. Delilah read the full message and just realized the date. It was on her working day. She had messed up this time.

    Delilah did not want to use her off day just for the class but then again, how can she go to the class when it is during her working hours? And she would feel guilty if she cancel the booking when Shay had been looking forward to the class. Shay wanted to join the class, only because she also thought Delilah would join in. And if Delilah back out now, Shay would back out as well.

    So, one time, she had met up with Aubree to discuss on what to do. Aubree was now her official supervisor, instead of Howard. Although, Howard was still her supervisor, he will only supervise Delilah whenever there is a big event or project which involved the HR department. Hence why Howard had appointed Aubree to be Delilah's supervisor. Aubree spent more time with Delilah, anyway. And also, this is because Aubree knows more about the ongoing of the company and had worked longer in the company than Delilah.

    Although, Aubree has been promoted to Operations Supervisor position, she still worked in a cubicle, rather than having an office for herself. This is because she requested to stay in her cubicle. She probably felt that it would be lonely working inside a room, rather than outside with Delilah and the rest.

    The two of them were having a drink at the pantry at that time. Because Delilah had a lot of pending work to do, she did not want to use her day off to attend the class. She talked to Aubree about her situation while Aubree listened.

    After Delilah had done talking, Aubree suggested, "Why don't you work overtime for a day to compensate the Friday afternoon off?"

    Delilah put a finger to her chin, thinking. "I thought of that but I'm not so sure whether that is acceptable. I mean, I don't want to take an advantage of the situation, just because I'm an HR."

    Aubree waved her concern away. "Nah, it should be fine. Let me text Howard about this and then we can inform the payroll department about this as well."

    Aubree took her mobile phone out of her pocket and began texting Howard.

    Few seconds later after she had texted Howard, there was a ping notification on Aubree's phone. She looked at it and read.

    She then smiled at Delilah, who looked anxious, wanting to know his reply.

    Aubree passed her phone to Delilah for her to read.

    'Ahhh... Alright. Then, it should be okay. Just let Delilah work overtime to compensate the hours. She should complete 5 hours of working time to pay off the half day off. No need to inform the payroll department about it, Aubree. Oh, and tell Delilah that I said hi and to not worry about it,' the text from Howard reads.

    Delilah clapped her hands in glee. Howard can be thoughtful, sometimes. She then said to Aubree, "Thank you too, Aubree!"

    Aubree laughed. "Hahaha! Don't worry. Just don't forget to bring the goodies to the office!"

    Delilah nodded. "Sure!"


    The afternoon of the cooking class.

    Delilah was outside of a building, where the class will take place, waiting for Shay to come. There were a lot of people coming into the building and when they walked past Delilah, they shot her a questioning gaze. Delilah just smiled and said, "I'm waiting for my cousin."

    One of the women nodded with a soft smile.

    Few minutes later, Shay finally arrived, carrying a large tote bag on her shoulder. Her hair flying behind her as she ran towards Delilah, looking a bit panic. Delilah laughed, watching Shay run. "What's the rush?" she asked.

    Shay let out a long breath as she stood next to Delilah. "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting," she apologized, wiping the sweat off her forehead. "Deng! The weather is quite hot today!"

    Delilah laughed softly. "Yes, it is," she agreed, as the two of them walked inside. They followed the signs that led to the room, where the class is being held.

    Delilah knocked softly on the door before entering in. Inside, there were a few middle-aged ladies and a couple of young men standing behind some cooking tables.

    Each tables were arranged in rows and columns. Two tables in the front row, another two at the second, another two at the third row until fifth row. At the front of the room, there was a large table, with a man standing behind it, whom Delilah presumed was the host chef. On each table, there was a portable stove to cook, with cooking utensils on the middle of the table, just beside the stove. Each table, there are three people. Seems like Shay and Delilah will be sharing a table with another person.

    Delilah and Shay greeted everyone with a hello and an apology for coming in late.

    They walked to the back of the room and slipped behind one of the tables at the back.

    There was a woman who was standing alone earlier at the table that Delilah and Shay just joined. She was a sweet-looking middle-aged woman, who looks to be in her late forties. She has few laugh wrinkles at the corner of her eyes, indicating that she loves to laugh. Her hair was tied up in a tight bun, not a strand of hair out of the it. She was smiling at both Delilah and Shay who had just joined her table. "Hello," she greeted them.

    Delilah smiled back. "Hello."

    "I am so excited! I joined this class so that I can make these for my children."

    Shay grinned. "Awww. That's so sweet!"

    The three of them had a small talk, introducing themselves.

    Few minutes later, the host chef cleared his throat loudly, getting everyone's attention. He welcomed everyone politely and at the same time, thanking them for joining in his class. He introduced himself as 'Mr. Jay'. He was a lanky and tall young man in his mid-twenties. He wore a spectacles and had a smooth crew cut.

    Apparently, this was his first class, teaching how to make burgers. Mr. Jay then began to talk about himself, how he began his burger business and how he enjoyed making burgers. Mr. Jay had made a name for himself a couple of years ago. Only twenty years old at the time and just graduated from a technical school, he decided to open up a small stall, selling homemade burgers. He had tested making burgers a lot of time, making use of different ingredients. He now finally created his own recipe.

    Mr. Jay then continued on explaining about the ingredients that were placed on each of their tables. He explained that these are the basic ingredients that he had used to make a burger; eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, fresh minced beef, minced garlic, minced onions and Worcestershire sauce.

    He then demonstrated by showing how to make the patties. He first grabbed a bowl of minced beef. Then he poured in some breadcrumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, minced onions, minced garlic, salt and pepper. He mixed them thoroughly with his gloved hands.

    One of the participants had asked him during his demonstration as to why they need to add the sauce, eggs and breadcrumbs. He answered that eggs were added to the meat mixture so that the meat would not crumble and break apart, maintaining its shape. Breadcrumbs, on the other hand, was added so that it helps to absorb the juices of the meat and keep it inside. It also helps to make the burger more juicier. As for the sauce, it will help to add more flavour and moisture to the burger.

    He then molded the beef mixture into patties, thumbing in the middle, making a small dent. Delilah raised up her hand to ask why the burgers need to have a small dent. Mr. Jay explained that it helps the patty to hold its shape as it will shrink when cooking.

    Then, the fun time began. Everyone in the room began to turn on the stove, heating the oil in the frying pan.

    Delilah slowly placed the uncooked patty onto the frying pan. The sound of sizzles brought a smile to Delilah's face as she cooked the patty. She then carefully flipped the patty to the other side, revealing a nicely, dark golden-brown scorch on the undersides. The patty juices dripped out of the meat, mixing with the cooking oil. The smell of the cooked patty hits Delilah's nose. Looking at the juices oozing out from the meat made Delilah drool.

    Once the burger was done cooking, Delilah placed it onto the buttered burger buns. Before cooking the patties, Mr. Jay had already told the class to heat the buns with butter onto the pan.

    However, before Delilah put other toppings onto her patty, she decided to make some caramelised onions. She grabbed an handful of onions and added butter to it. With some leftover meat juices in the frying pan, Delilah began to stir-fry the onions.

    Adding these on top of the patty, it looked more juicy.

    Delilah then placed crispy lettuces, fresh tomatoes, mayonnaise and chili sauce on top of the onions. As a final touch, she placed the top bun and smiled at her creation.

    The burger looked beautiful in Delilah's eyes. Taking a bite out of it, the combination of all the sauces and ingredients of the burger created the perfect taste. The addition of the caramelised onions only added more flavour to it, making it more DEE-lectable.

    The juices of the patty dripped down her fingers as she chewed. The patty did not break apart that easily and it wasn't dry or soggy at all. In fact, Delilah was proud to say that this is DEE-finitely one good burger! It does not even taste too "meat-y" as she had expected.

    Shay, who was sitting beside her, eating her own burger, looked at Delilah. "Yours looked good," she commented.

    Delilah grinned. "Tasted good too."

    The two of them cut a piece of their burger to give each other to try.

    Shay's eyes widened as she tasted Delilah's burger. "Wow, it really is!"

    Delilah smiled smugly. "I know, right? Praise me more!"

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    Shay just rolled her eyes. Sometimes her cousin can be too shameless.

    Delilah was happier when she heard Mr. Jay said that they could make more burgers with the extra leftovers to bring home.

    Delilah immediately made more patties and wrapped it to bring back home.

    After the class was over, Delilah went straight home where she gave her siblings her burgers. She wanted to get their feedbacks.

    Miya tasted one and said, "Oh, this is really good. So, this is what you learn from the class?"

    Delilah nodded. "Yup. It was really fun!" she said. "And I have to say that this class is really rewarDEE-ng."

    She sighed happily to herself. She was glad that everything has worked out well for her. Working extra hours to attend this class was worth it. Not everyone start off the best and this is just something she can ticked off as one of the fun new things she had learnt.
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