Since October, five lucky fifth graders participated in an eight-week series of cooking classes through the My Daughter’s Kitchen initiative. Led by volunteers Jill Kaiserman and Katie Rhodes – known to the students as “Superwoman” and “Wonder Woman” respectively – the students learned the basics of reading a recipe and preparing a healthy, cost-effective meal from scratch.
We checked in with our junior chefs to find out the best cooking tips they learned during the series, just in time for the holiday season!
1. Make sure you read the instructions beforehand and plan ahead. – Jordan
It’s important to read the recipe all the way through before you even begin cooking, because you want to make sure that you have all the supplies and ingredients you need. We learned how helpful it is to set out all the supplies and ingredients we’ll need for the recipe at the beginning of class, so that we can get right to cooking when we’re done reading the recipe.
2. Always pay attention when you’re cooking. – Journey
Paying attention is important throughout the cooking process, starting with reading the recipe. Otherwise, you may not pick up on subtleties within the recipe – like the difference between “boil” and “broil,” which our class learned while making “the fastest chicken parm” in the broiler.
3. Always be careful with a knife – don’t look away while you are chopping. – Eyoni
We learned that a properly sharpened knife can actually be safer because it prevents foods from sliding under a dull blade. However, the sharp edge is dangerous if you don’t follow knife safety rules! Even a momentary lapse in focus can cause a painful accident in the kitchen.
4. Say “sharp ends” and “hot corners!” – Alana
Alana reminds us to take extra care especially when there are others in the kitchen. We learned some words to say to let other people know when there are dangerous objects close by, to help avoid accidents. This type of communication also builds our sense of teamwork, so that we all work smoothly together to complete a meal.
5. Don’t doubt yourself. – Amir
Cooking is an adventure, and it can be scary to try new things. But with attentive teachers and supportive classmates, it can be fun to venture outside your comfort zone – and it might result in something delicious!
6. Have fun!!! – Everyone
While we have very important rules and guidelines to make sure that we cook safely, it’s equally important to remember to have fun! We get the extraordinary opportunity to prepare something delicious to nourish ourselves and the people we love, and have a blast along the way!