DS Cooking School

Ever since I can remember I have been around food. Eating it, watching my Mum prepare it, helping her, cutting, peeling, tasting, eating. My Mum is a fabulous cook. A chef she is not, but DEAR GOD she has been cooking her heart out for years. She looks a little like Maggie Beer and if my Mum was someone famous, she would Maggie Beer. She was a corporate caterer back in the eighties when boardroom lunches with plenty of wine and avocado halves were the go. She also did parties and weddings and any kind of parties in between – I used to help her with all this from when I was about 7 or 8 – helping her do fruit platters, or canapes – you name it. I guess this is where my passion and love for food and entertaining comes from. The sweet memories I have of doing stuff with my Mum, making and creating and helping people celebrate special occasions in their lives with beautiful food made with love? Not much better in my eyes! She then bought her own cafe when I was about 14 which she ran successfully 7 days a week for 6 years. I worked with her there too – building menus and even running pasta nights when 16 year old Beth would cook for 80+ covers with Mum by my side. Those were some tough years but what I learnt about hard work, and running businesses have stuck with me for life. I still clean down my kitchen and sweep the floor after each service I feed my kids now – breakfast, lunch and dinner – because of my time in that cafe. She has worked for several cafes and businesses since then – helping build them up before clients sell them. My Mum is smart when it comes to food. She is clever, creative and she works like a dog. All for a buck and all because she loves food. Honestly, she is my hero. What a role model for me to look up to!

Over the years she has employed many people – namely women and young girls who have admired her. My mother has a wicked sense of humour (perhaps she passed a little onto me..?) and has always been able to connect to younger people with her humour and ability to teach and guide people in a really personable way. She has affectionately named many of these young girls who have worked for her “dumb sluts” which on paper doesn’t quite translate in the funny, caring way that it should. She calls me a dumb slut, I have been known to call many a friend a dumb slut – it’s meant with love. It’s a term of endearment. Really. And just recently? Well, she has started the Dumb Slut Cooking School! I was lucky enough to be a guest host at the last session when I was up in Sydney and just had to share it with you all.

How does one qualify as a “Dumb Slut”?
This latest round of classes has students that are my little sister’s friends. They are career women in their late twenties/early thirties who are single, enjoyed by Mum’s cooking over the years and don’t really have a clue in the kitchen. They also love a drink and an excuse to come to my Mum’s place to get a free meal and a few glasses of wine and have many a laugh along the way. Oh, and to learn something too. There is that whole cooking thing. When I mentioned this to some of my friends though, they were desperate to get into the Dumb Slut Mother Cooking Class which may commence in the new year. Sure, they have kids but they still have no real idea how to cook, would love to get a free meal at Mum’s, have a wine and a chat and be away from the kids. Win! Win! Win! WIN!

So what happens at Dumb Slut Cooking School?
I’m glad you asked! Mum usually takes them through a few basic recipes that are handy when entertaining guests. Basics that can be translated into other dishes – so mayo into garlic aoili into a different sauce. Get the drift? Here…take a look.

We started off with some Prosecco as soon as my kids were asleep. The best way to start don’t you think? Especially if you are a dumb slut like me…

The girls have notebooks and quite seriously took down notes along the way. They plan on having these with them when they eventually become married and motherly dumb sluts.

This week the focus was on eggs. Just 3 plain eggs really. We used the whites for meringues which became a desert of piles berries and cream on meringue nests. Dead easy but for peeps that have no idea about these things, highly interesting and exciting.

Students were encouraged to participate even if they were shithouse at piping. I generally just sat and drank and said things like “gee you are shithouse at piping!” See? I am a dumb slut!

Then with the yolks that we used from the previous whites, we made a basic mayo, halved the mix, then added some garlic to make an aoili to be served with crudites (that’s fancy French for cut up vegies).

We then turned the other half of the mayo above into a sauce for one of Mum’s specialities: Smoked Salmon Stacks. Just fry up wonton wrappers, layer with smoked salmon, bean sprouts & avocado and lashings of the mayo (which has had a bunch of dill & sweet chili sauce added to it). Um…YUM.

Get the drift of it? I was then to make a Bearnaise sauce (also egg based) to have with steak and a simple salad which we all ate together with some more wine, except that Harper woke up and ended attached to me for the remainder of the Cooking School session. Kids huh? So we just had steak without Bearnaise and then the meringues for desert. Perfect hey?

The ladies are getting together once a month to do this and I’m sorry that I can’t make each and every one of those fun nights. Although I don’t think my Mum will miss my drunken sideline commentary “Oh you do it like that? Really? I don’t think that’s quite done Mum. Really? REALLY?!”

I would love to host a Dumb Slut {online} Cooking School for you guys because DEAR GOD some of you are dumb sluts right? So. What do you want to know? Throw them at me and I’ll make it happen people (yes you should have said that in your best Tim Gunn voice). Recipes? Entertaining questions? Hosting questions? Cleaning/domestic questions? Lay. Them. On. Me. Go!

Oh and Mum? I love you and your guts. You are an inspiration not only to me, but so many people you have touched over the years. All hail to the biggest dumb slut in the business – Susie!

Comments

  1. I need to know how to be an entertaining goddess using just one hand. Host a fab BBQ with one hand, while wrangling child, preschooler and breastfeeding babe with the other.

    Any tips??

  2. HAHAHAHA!

    Dear god. Your mum sounds AMAZING!

    And reminds me of my Nan, who would have done something similar, but instead titled it ‘silly tart’.

    Now I feel like I understand where your amazing cooking ability comes from. Full credit to your ma.

  3. Count me in for your online school Beth! Do it as a Skype conference so we can all watch your magic.
    Actually craving merengue now. Dammit!

  4. Fantastic way to share your Mums knowledge and skills!!

  5. Love it! Your Mum is fabulous.

    I’d like to know how to be a domestic goddess according to Beth/Bev. A day in the life. How you manage your time, the girls, the cleaning and cooking. I’m nosey like that. :) (and CBA with cleaning lately so need inspiration!) xx

  6. PS – I so want your mum. We ate chops and veg every.single.night. growing up.

  7. I love the fact that your Mum uses the label “dumb slut”. Mainly because I was often called a “slack tart” in the same endearing way… and now call my friends the same. It is indeed a term of endearment, in our house anyway.

  8. I wanna be a dumb slut!!!
    :-)

  9. What a great idea! I am so clueless with this sort of stuff and I get stuck in a cooking rut when I make the same things again and again. The worst thing is mu mother in law is a cooking extraordinaire and my poor husband is stuck with my bland cooking night after night. Beth I would love to know how to cook with spice – any thai or indian dishes with plenty of chilli would be fab.

  10. Never more in my life have I wanted to be a dumb slut!
    Your Mum ROCKS!!

  11. Cooking can be great fun, especially when you are drinking!! I love the fact that your mum has a great sense of humour!

  12. My husband would send me to one of those. I am crap in the kitchen where as he is brilliant!
    Your mum is totally a Maggie Beer look alike!

  13. can’t you host one at your place?? pretty please?? I’ll bring fancy notebooks for everyone and Piper too …..? please?

  14. oh my god, your mum is my new hero.

  15. I don’t think I’ve ever been this desperate to be a dumb slut before. Your mum sounds awesome! xxx

  16. oh lordy, this made me laugh so hard. are american dumb sluts allowed to join?:)

  17. OK .. of if the first set of cooking classes are for ‘dumb sluts’. Does that mean when they pass they can move onto ‘stupid scrag’ classes???

    hahahahaha

  18. Another dumb slut here too – count me in! x

  19. I LOVE YOUR MUM! Fantastique! Count me in. I am a total dumb slut

  20. Sounds great! I am already fantastic at burning water and setting fire to the kitchen but making something actually edible would probably go down betterl with The Husband, so count me in!

  21. Anonymous says:

    If the French word “crudités” is sourced from the Latin word “crude”, then this Masterchef has delivered true to word. My oh my, those sad carrots and stringy celery certainly played their part…

    Mr Anonymous

  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s amazing how just one comment can turn a person off a whole blog.

    Funny or not, endearment or not, love or not.. you’re right – on words it doesn’t translate.

    Not to me, anyway. I’m so ashamed. I loved your little blog.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’ve just discovered your blog Beth and I love it!! What a hoot.

    I’ld love to hear about meal planning. Do you meal plan? And how do you please both your taste buds and your little ones?

    Looking forward to lots more laughs with you.

    An

  24. That made me cry….the love for your Mumma.
    Just.
    So.
    Beautiful.

    it’s the families that can laugh together that stay together.
    sorry that some don’t get it.
    they won’t be missed.
    xxx
    Love from another motherly dumb slut.

  25. Love your Mum! and love that she calls you a dumb slut! I get chastised by my Mum if I even say ‘bum’ “It’s your bottom Chantel” ;o)

  26. Love the NB in the recipe photo under Masterclass #1, I have been searching for an accompaniment to Lion Chop so my prayers are answered!

    And I’m secretly jealous of that handwriting. It’s like a font!

  27. I wanna know how you get your floors so shiny?

  28. I want in … will have wine at the ready ;)

  29. Beth – I would love you to show us some menus for simple but tasty entertaining. When you have people over and you want something just a little special but easy to make. Also a few side dishes that are a step above (for when hubbie whacks a few steaks on the barbie – salads/potato or whatever that I can make when we have peeps over. Desserts another thing that usually stumps me – any delish, impressive but easy ideas from junior dumb s? I am all ears……please be my teacher.

  30. I love the 3 egg concept. Very clever. I look forward to seeing more.

  31. Dumb Sluts Cooking Classes sound divine!!! Sign me up – as if I need more reasons to read your blog. Would love to host an evening with girlfriends and try some of your stuff.

  32. Hah! LOVE THIS. I used to do the same thing but mine was called the Slack Tart Cooking Class. Too funny.

    And that wonton stack? Chef used to do one similar but using duck. God it was good.

    Sigh.

  33. Priceless Beth! I love cooking too and grew up baking lots with Mum, just simple stuff but it has impacted on me for sure. Baked a carrot cake and a choc brownie today actually.
    I’d love to know how to put together a dinner party menu for 8 and how to preplan and prepare so I can still enjoy the night and not feel like I am slaving away in the kitchen whilst everyone else has fun!
    Love to your Ma x

  34. Love it!

  35. That looked like too much fun. I wish I had that experience of cooking with my mum. Now that I have four kids (ahem, dumb slut to the max) I have no time to make fancy food and would just love to have easy but yummy recipes and techniques on hand.

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