Written by Cynthia Paulis, email@example.com Wednesday, 02 October 2013 13:26
Kids are spending too much time in front of the computer -- maybe it’s time for a class they can really sink their teeth into.
Kitchen Time Party Place in Massapequa is a fun-filled cooking adventure for children, as well as adults. Terry Seeman, from Levittown, the owner and chef is a delightful blend of wit and wisdom. She has been trained in health education for K-12 and has been involved with the company for the past 30 years, taking over the company 10 years ago when the former owner retired.
The kitchen consists of one stove, one cooktop and a microwave, similar to any home environment and the two hour session is chock full of great ideas and life lessons. The students start from scratch and complete an entire dinner which they get to eat at the end of the class. On this particular night there were six students; three girls, three boys ages nine to 10 from all parts of Long Island and the class was Methods of cooking.
“Today we are making a beautiful recipe with chicken franchisee, rice and nuts, almond cake and steamed broccoli with lemon. Today’s recipe is all about methods of cooking so they can understand baking, broiling, steaming, and the benefits for each,” said Seeman. “As the months go on the recipes will all be brought back to the methods of eating healthy. The good, better, best philosophy, what is the best food to eat when you are eating in a group. How you can make compromises to make your choices better when you are cooking and being in control of what you are eating and knowing how to cook it.”
The groups are separated by age. Kitchen time is not just exclusive to kids, according to Seeman.
“We can do other activities as well, private events, a 65 birthday party, a going away party a shower, a bachorlette party,” she said. “The party is to have an experience and to learn something at the same time. You can go out to eat at a restaurant and it’s over in two hours or you can come here, spend a longer time, interact and have a hands on activity that’s more memorable and you learn something.”
When the budding chefs arrived the first thing they learned was to wash your hands. Seeman then discussed the importance of this and also how to safely handle raw chicken. The children were then taught how to read a recipe, how to measure properly and were give a math lesson in weights. They were taught to read labels and shown the difference between greek and regular yogurt which was used as a healthier substitute for the almond cake.
Seeman shared her life lessons on not wasting food and how you can creatively recycle left over food, for example taking the broccoli stalk and making a soup out of it.
Safety was also emphasized with a lesson in proper knife cutting and how to handle a hot lid when steam is involved. The kids did all of the prepping and cooking with Seeman carefully watching over them. They learned how to “dredge the chicken” over flour and egg and carefully place it in the pan to cook.
When the meal was fully cooked there was also a lesson in table etiquette and place setting. Then it was time to eat and the kids all dove into the meal they had made as Seeman reviewed lessons they had learned. There was laughter and stories shared by each child of their cooking experience and why they were there.
The children really enjoyed their meal, even the broccoli as nine year old Dante commented, “If it’s made by kids, it’s got to be good!”
After the meals were gobbled up and the children left, Seemans shared her philosophy on why these classes have been so successful.
“This is life, cooking is life and cooking healthy and taking care of yourself is certainly a skill you will use for the rest of your life,” she said. “Eating healthy has such an impact on your health and the foods you chose to eat and cook will have an impact on how long you live and how healthy that life is going to be that you are living.”