What’s For Dinner? Class for 4-6 year olds
PCC Cooks is a popular program hosted at various PCC locations throughout the Puget Sound area, and student ages range from two to 80 years. The purpose is to get people into the kitchen and to showcase some of the premier ingredients available at the stores. Cooking instructors range from chefs to skilled cooks who share a passion for cooking education. The topics range from non-cooking snack planning to elaborate meal and wine pairing. I have recently been contracted with PCC Cooks to teach a holiday baking course for young children over the holiday season. Until my class, I am attending as many classes as I can to learn from other instructors. In June, I attended “What’s For Dinner?” taught by Ami Karnosh, a professional chef, certified nutritionist, and author of Let’s Eat: A Book About Food.
Before the kids made their individual food items, Ami demonstrated the steps they would be following. She encouraged the kids to try new foods, but she didn’t force them to use them. She also provided lots of individual hands-on time, helping each child complete the preparation step before moving to the next step. There was lots of laughter as each young chef put his or her own spin on the step. One student spent extra time making sure that his Caprese salad was exactly even distributed over his plate and had the same amount of cheese on each bite.
There was no sitting around. While the nuggets baked, we assembled our Caprese salads and played a food identification game. The kids gathered around the instructor and took turns putting their hands into a box which was hiding a secret food. Then they had to guess what the food was. Amused adults exchanged looks as kids guessed that the food was brown, orange, or green without even seeing it. Then they worked on figuring out what the food was, based on how it felt. Then we made our dessert – a vanilla wafer and yogurt parfait topped with plenty of fresh fruit.
When I was young, I would have given all my baby teeth to attend a class like this. It was comprehensive, hands-on, and the recipes were designed so that young chefs who were new to knife handling and cooking could participate. The adults probably enjoyed the class, because they didn’t have to do much, other than assisting shaky hands and keeping the kids on task.
I would recommend to participants to eat a little bit of food beforehand, because you won’t really get to eat until the end, about 45 minutes or so into the class. I would also recommend bringing a camera, because the joy on the kids faces really merits photographing to share with family who couldn’t attend. Dress to get messy and have lots of fun.
Look for and sign up for classes at PCC Cooks. Course cost and dates vary, so look online or pick up a catalog. Sign up early, because the classes fill up quickly.