Cooking With Kids

Mar 27th, 2006

For the most part our classes are geared toward adults. When Spring Break comes along we need to reverse that. Because whole families come to town, adults with young children are not available for an evening dining class. So for us, it was logical to offer kidís cooking classes during Spring Break, which in Cannon Beach means about 4-5 weeks with so many school districts breaking different weeks. This way moms and dads get a few hours to themselves while we cook with their kids.

What to put on the menu is our biggest challenge. Do we offer only foods they love but are full of sugar? Or do we concentrate on the nutritionally dense foods? We pretty much think the menu will never please everyone anyway, so we apply the same philosophy we use with adults. Pick things in season, from local sources, starting with whole foods as much as possible. Include a variety of flavors, textures and temperatures, and agree that no food is a bad foodóin moderation. That way we can always have something sweet, something fresh, uncooked, and lots that are full flavored and nutrient rich.

We believe in making most things from ìscratchî but not if the details are too many for the attention span and skill level. It is better to buy a quality canned pizza sauce, for example, than to start with raw tomatoes to make the sauce. This way the focus is on the pizza and not the sauce. Our goal is to help kids see a connection between enjoying foods theyíve made themselves.

In tomorrow’s class, we are doing a new cake recipe that Lenore made up, and it has me a little concerned. The recipe has 15 ingredientsóenough to discourage a seasoned cook. Lenore claims it has good repetitive learningsómeasuring wet and dry ingredients using teaspoons and cups. And despite the long list of ingredients it is a simple procedure. They make, bake and serve the cake in one pan. And no eggs, so they get to taste the batter! And itís a good one to remember for those times you really have a taste for something sweet, but nothing is in the refrigerator. This whole recipe can be made from your dry goods shelve. Cioa – Bob

Hereís the recipe:
Gingerbread Spice Cake ( one pan method; no eggs)
1/2 c sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c AP unbleached flour
2 tsp cinnamon
‡ tsp allspice
º tsp ginger
º tsp clove
1 ‡ tsp soda
1 ‡ tsp baking powder
‡ tsp salt
º c oil, vegetable
1 tsp vanilla
‡ cup maple syrup or molasses
2 tsp. vinegar, apple
æ cup water
Method
In ungreased 8x8x2 square pan, combine all the dry ingredients; the first ten (10) to the line. Blend until spice color is even throughout.
Make three (3) indentations (holes) in the flour-spice mixture in the pan.
Hole #1, put in vanilla & syrup in one
Hole #2, put in the oil
Hole #3, put in vinegar.

Pour the water over all. Using a fork stir until all the lumps are gone and dry ingredients are all moistened.

Bake the cake in 350Æ’F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Cool in pan on rack. Serve with or without whipped cream.