I’ve had it in my head lately that I would like to create some sort of program that involved kids who are interested in food. It would be educational, yet fun and something I could do on my own time outside of work.
Kids have always been very important in my life. I have two nieces and a nephew and they are my everything. I like to do anything I can to enrich their lives. I buy them books, dance with them, sing funny songs, and I've even done food projects with them like sugar skulls for Day of the Dead.
Kids will always be one of my top priorities in life, but I did not know how to get started on this idea of a program to teach kids to cook that I had bouncing around in my head.
Luckily, my best friend Heidi happens to be a teacher, and she was telling me about a project that her kids have been working on. A group of her students create videos of cooking segments, and she gives them time to work on it every Friday afternoon. My ears perked up, and I saw my chance!
She had already invited me to come into her classroom and meet her kids, so I just asked if I could do a little food lesson of my own design. She said yes! So I talked to a small group of her kids about baking and cupcake decorating and had them decorate some cupcakes with me. We shared them with the whole class of course, and it was an amazing experience.
I came into the classroom carrying all of my equipment, and the kids got excited and acted like I'm a celebrity, which I totally loved. Heidi took me to the back of her classroom, and I cleaned a table and set up the cupcakes and equipment.
The kids split up into their groups, and I introduced myself to them and answered questions they had for me. They asked me about my job, how long I had been cooking and what got me interested in cooking. I talked to them about baking for a little bit, but I could tell they really wanted to get to the decorating part.
Since it was around Easter, I had them decorate the cupcakes in a spring-inspired fashion.
They worked with frosting, fondant, cookie cutters, food dyes and even assembled the cupcakes.
Each child had a task to do, and I think it was a success.
I showed them how to work with fondant which they loved, and then picked out the colors to dye our fondant for the flowers to go on top of our cupcakes. I showed them how to do one, but then left the decorating totally up to them.
At the end, we were all covered in powdered sugar and dye, but I have to say that they did an amazing job!
These kids helped me realize that this type of programming is something I definitely want to do again. And the kids do too! They even asked me to come back and decorate a whole cake with them. I wanted to thank the kids and Heidi for allowing me to do this and I'm hoping I get another chance to work with them again.
If you have kids who have a passion for cooking or just want to have fun in general, sign them up for The Chopping Block's 2016 kids and teen cooking camps this summer at Lincoln Square. We still have plenty of space left!