Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cooking with Children, What A Joy

They are adorable.  

I love being an Uncle and I am favorite Uncle "Chef" Brad

Hard at work

Most of my favorite cooking memories have to deal with children.  They are the most fun and willing to learn.  I had the best time taking a cooking day with the second generation nieces and nephews on my wife's side of the family this last year.

We did an all day cooking class and it was amazing.  This group of children are some of the best behaved, well trained, children I have ever cooked with. At the very start of the class one of them raised his hand and asked if I would prefer them raising their hands when they had a question.  I said yes and the rest of the day they raised their hands  if they had a question.

Time for a lunch break.
Normally nine children is a little large for a hands on, all day class.  But it worked perfectly.  They were so respectful and helpful to me and to each other. The cousin bond was strong between them, and I was delighted to see how they protected and helped each other. Talking down, or making fun, was not permitted. I didn't have to even make the rule, they already had it down.

We made pretzels, cookies, pizza, and for lunch they made from scratch, Alfredo sauce with pasta.  They had a contest boys against girls, and boy was it fun to see them work.  The pasta sauce was perfect, and they were delighted to eat the labor of their own hands.

Most Children love to cook, and oh my are they smart.  We have a lecture to start the day about grains, health and nutrition, and ingredients.  They didn't miss a beat.

It was a pleasure to spend the day with such delightful children, I loved seeing their passion for what they were doing.  We ended the day with pizza that they were able to take home for dinner.  The pizza dough they made in a bag, the recipe is on my site at  I have used that recipe often when cooking with children.  It is easy and clean.

Pretzel making has never been better.
Is this how you do it Uncle "Chef" Brad

All the Fun is WORTH  the mess.
Just a note about the mess.  Often times we don't do events like cooking with our children, or have parties because we don't want to deal with the mess.  I have learned long ago that what happens during the event out weighs the time spent cleaning up.  In fact as I am cleaning up I think about what just happened, the memories that were made, the bonds of friendship that were strengthened, the love that was deepened, and suddenly cleaning up is not so bad.  In fact cleaning up is my best time as I think about the joy that comes from serving others.  

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