When a local kitchen store called to see if I would be interested in trying one of their classes, I jumped at the chance. I'm a self taught cook and I have the scars and culinary tragedies in my past to prove it. Hoping to save at least one of my children from their own mistakes, I brought my 12 year old son Xander with me to the class. It was a lot of fun and we both learned how to use knives in a safer, more efficient way. By the time it was over, we were pros!
For the record, I grabbed Xander at the last minute when some space opened up in the class. Had I noticed he was wearing a beer t-shirt, I might have asked him to change. But it was Saturday, so I might have let it go. Some of you might be thinking I need a parenting skills class. Fair enough!
Our Charleston Cooks instructor, Milo, was young and cool, by which I mean way younger and cooler than I am, which is always appealing to a kid. (For fans of "America's Got Talent," he reminded me of 17 year old magician Collins Key.) The pace was perfect for learning and Xander and I both improved our skills.
As a mother, I was thrilled that Milo focused on safety without making it boring. We learned to curl three fingers around the handle while lightly pinching the blade between thumb and index finger. I did have to constantly remind Xander about keeping the fingers of his opposite hand curled, so the tips would stay out of the way of the sharp blade, but at least now he knows I'm right, because he heard it from a pro.
Speaking of sharp, we were reminded that a sharp knife is a safer knife, and Xander is on me about getting ours sharpened. Which I'll do! I promise!
The class was a lot of fun, a great way to spend time with my son on a Saturday morning. Kids should enjoy being in the kitchen and safety is a big part of that. Xander and I are looking at the Charleston Cooks schedule, because we're ready to go back for more. I'll have him making sauces and stocks in no time!
Though I recommend cooking classes with kids, I do have a few tips:
- Make sure the kid in question can act like an adult in terms of classroom behavior. No distracting silliness, please. Because everyone else paid for their spot, too.
- Ask ahead about age limits for the class. Make sure the skill being taught is age appropriate and that children are allowed and welcome.
- Find a day time class. Evening classes often include wine or beer tasting and may not be as much fun for adult participants if your kid is there. (Hey, I have three kids and I like them a lot, but I don't want to see yours or mine on an adult evening out!)
- Make sure your kid wants to be there. An interested kid is usually a well-behaved one.
Have you ever taken an adult cooking class with a kid? Is it something you would try?
(Images: Anne Postic)