Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cooking Lessons for Kids at Gulf Beaches Public Library: Fried Rice, Friday, July 15

Peggy in the hat mixing things up -- she certainly looks self assured, but that's Peggy. Milo ready to start on Batch # 2. Me trying to finish up my first delicious plate.

This is why I've loved my cooking classes: that's Milo standing at the end of the table in the blue and white striped shirt, and he's never in his young life agreed to eat anything but plain white rice. He ate two platesful of fried rice he made himself. He's five.  
The two other boys were just plain super nice kids.

My director predicted that about half way through the summer, I would get the hang of Cooking Class, and SHE WAS RIGHT!  Fried Rice went really well. Crystal brought in the oyster sauce, Daniel reminded me it was Fried Rice not Refried Rice, that's something completely different, two people brought in frying pans when I forgot mine (!!!), Jacob appeared for duty, and most wonderfully of all, Kelly volunteered to wash dishes.

Here's how my layout works: three long tables laid out in a U with room between, and a small one at either corner of the room for nibblers.  The two opposite each other are for cooking (because we can only have two appliances on at a time in this room) and the third table opposite is for set up, chopping, and mixing.  

For the fried rice, I had large bowls of rice (jasmine, already cooked) at either table, along with oil and soy sauce and big spoons.  The kids picked out their veggies, scallions, carrots, shrimp, and green peas at the long table, and in teams of two cooked their dishes.

The teams of two thing worked out very well, although it was a concept born of desperation since I couldn't give each child a cook station.  But by working in twos, they a) met each other; b) watched over each other; and c) gave each other advise so that we didn't have to interfere as much and could stand back a bit.  They still felt as if they were doing it all, but they helped each other to that goal.

I'd kind of run out of great ideas for next week and Jacob suggested his signature dish, a ham and cheese sandwich made with pesto on ciabatta rolls and grilled on a waffle iron.  The pesto will be esp. fun. Easy Pesto

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