7 Days in Ubud, Bali (Day Three)

Day Three in Ubud, Bali

Cooking Class at Pemulan Bali

Cooking Class at Pemulan Bali

We woke early on this our third day in Ubud, and did some yoga in our room. We didn’t have time for breakfast because we were being picked up by the Bali Farm cooking school for an all day cooking class!

We couldn’t remember the last time we had a cooking class. A few years? Maybe in Cambodia? Can’t be right, but neither of us can remember.

Things got off to a rocky start. As we’ve written before, any tour or class is made or broken by the guide/teacher and the fellow participants. So it was a bit like a dark cloud when we got in the car at nearly 8a with several taciturn looking people with their faces pressed into their phones.

The guy in the back was loudly watching some video that nobody else cared to hear, but that didn’t stop him. His wife had fake eyelashes so long that they tickled the back of my arm when she blinked. If somebody were to remake the opening scenes of the Flintstones and cast the enterprise with Kardashians we would have not Fred being served a load of dinosaur ribs, but Kim being fitted for eyelashes.

I chalked it up to being early and people not having had coffee or breakfast, so didn’t attempt to break any ice until we got to the small town farmers market. It turns out one girl was from near Darwin, Australia, another from Canada and the Kim Kardashian lookalike (with their Gucci shoes and complaints of no cell reception) was from Jakarta, and her husband from China. I warmed to her more as we continued to chat about the crazy traffic in Jakarta and as she knew all the fruits and vegetables on offer and was fluent in Indonesian. A bit of a cheat since she was actually Indonesian. I wondered what she would learn about her native culture since she seemed to know so much already.

Cooking Class in Ubud, Bali

We proceeded to taste a bunch of fruit, most of which I had tried before, but one in particular that was brand new to us – snake fruit! Freaky freaky nature, you never cease to amaze and delight. As the name would indicate, the skin of this fruit is patterned like the skin of a snake. It comes off easily enough and is a little dry and brittle. But the inside tastes a little crunchy and a little sweet. Kinda like a jicama, but in no way at all like jicama. I was thinking that we would be buying fresh veggies and fruit to make during our cooking class, but that was not the case. We hopped into the car and drove another 15 minutes into the countryside to get to the actual farm.

It’s a really interesting concept. I think 14 local farms got together and decided to start a cooking school. The food we cooked with we shopped for in the vegetable garden. What they don’t grow at the school, they get from one of the farmers in the coop. We were two of about 25 people at the farm cooking that morning. They have two classes a day, everyday.

We first picked our veggies from the garden, which felt more like a grocery store than actual picking of veggies. The instructions were simple. Like, pick two green beans for each shared basket. One leaf of mustard green. It was very interesting, but not satisfying way of picking. Normally we are used to picking AS MANY GREEN BEANS AS POSSIBLE before they fall off the vine.

We then chopped and diced and mashed our herbs and roots and spices into pastes and fried our tempeh and ate our first two courses. Then we went back and cooked three more courses and a dessert of black rice pudding. We ate so much that we vowed to not eat again for the rest of the day. We came back to the hotel and I took a nap.

We were so full that we started to challenge the wisdom of booking massages for early afternoon. Have you ever had a lymphatic massage? Neither had I. It was rather intense, but gentle at the same time. It’s not deep tissue because you don’t really want to push really hard on the lymph. It’s also a dry massage, which can feel a little rough in places as skin catches on skin. The place we got our massages was so beautiful. Deceptively so. It’s on two sides of a deep ravine, so you have to go down a long cruel flight of stairs (crueler coming back up after a massage, Jill posits) and over a beautiful bridge along a stone waterfall and then back up to the other side. It’s truly a little oasis in the Ubud. Totally unexpected.

By the time we were done, we were a little hungry and found ourselves at Seeds of Life eating some raw vegan pizza made of cauliflower crusts and some beet root tonic juice that just totally hit the spot. Another great day in Ubud, Bali.

This is day three of our 7 days in Ubud, Bali. To read more, choose from the list below!