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October 14, 2013

Kids in the Kitchen

When I was asked to teach a cooking class for the daughter of a co-worker, I jumped at the opportunity. Teaching kids how to cook is a hoot. They are so eager to learn. Soon I realized that they listened to and believed everything I said. It’s not often I have such a trusting audience. Plus we had a great time and I felt like I had accomplished something meaningful to boot.

There were 7 little girls ranging in age from 5-9. We hit it off immediately. I started out asking them if they liked to cook. All hands went upward towards the sky. I thought, ahh this is going to be easy. We talked about washing our hands before starting, not eating while we cook unless of course we were making something just for ourselves, and how to hold and use a knife. Their knives were from Pampered Chef and are safe for kids.

Each little girl was given an apron to decorate and a chef’s hat.
I could see that they were very creative and I was going to have to up my game to keep up with them. I was glad I brought my own chef coat; at least I was going to look the part. It must have worked because they decided to call me Chef Terri.

We started with Mexican Pinwheels, a great recipe for kids. But if the truth be told the adults were eating them faster than the kids could bake them. What surprised me was how they modified the recipe to adapt to their skill level. Slicing the pastry proved to be a challenge for them so they rolled them up into little balls. We had a few who mastered the slice. All in all the pinwheels/balls looked and tasted fantastic. I even got caught sampling one and was called out by a very observant 7 year old. “Chef Terri, I thought you weren’t supposed to eat while you cook.” As I swallowed the last bite, I explained that I wasn’t cooking at the time. But she wasn’t fooled for a minute.

Next on the agenda was cookie decorating 101. I gave each of them a pastry bag with a tip and white icing. They had the option to color the icing red, green, yellow or blue. Since the birthday girl’s favorite color is blue most of the cookies were blue. We had one that mixed red and blue and she ended up with brownish black. That didn’t seem to faze her a bit, she went on to decorate her cookie with a very elaborate 6 inch high mound of icing.

I gave each of my little chefs a certificate and a recipe book.
I hope they learned a few skills and will be inspired to continue to cook.

I am amazed at how many families don’t actually sit down to the family meal like I did when I was growing up. I hope that more moms, sons , fathers and daughters will get back to cooking and sitting around the family table spending quality time together. So here’s to Kids in the Kitchen, our future chefs.

Posted by terri at October 14, 2013 02:16 AM