Abraham Lincoln asks, “Can these kids be taught to cook?”

One of the missions of the blog is teaching kids about food. So, with that in mind I’ve started a cooking club at school. Our first lesson is this Friday.

I told the parents about this plan back at parent’s night in August, and people seemed to be excited. I let people know that I would limit each class to 12 participants, and that it wasn’t going to be one of those things where you MUST be at each meeting.

So last week I let it be known in our announcements that I would have the cooking club sign up sheet on my door Friday morning. The first 12 to sign up were in. Anyone in grades K-8 could participate.

7:40 am Friday morning:

I was easing my way into the morning with my coffee. I went down to the office to print out my sign up sheet. On my way, I was met by one of our early arrivals, in a mild state of panic. His younger sister was galloping beside him with excitement. No “Good morning, Mr. Crowder.” Instead, I was greeted with, “Where do we sign up for the cooking class?”

“I’m going to get it right now.”

Student follows me with pencil in hand ready to affirm his John Hancock to the document.

By 8am, the question was, “IS IT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS??”

By 8:15 there was mild panic as students came in. SIGN UP NOW! BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!


By 8:30, the 12 slots were full.

Apparently, expectations are high. So, for this first class, we’re making pizza. Perhaps that explains the excitement. We will be learning to use measuring cups, do some chopping, and general food safety (washing hands, washing fruit, avoiding cross contamination).

Overall, I hope it goes well. We shall see if I am capable of pulling this together. Below is the plan for cooking club for the rest of the semester. I’d like to know people’s thoughts on it. I thought I’d stick to easy things, and always try to include a fruit or vegetable with each meal. Mostly, I want kids to learn about food, and to enjoy fresh homemade food.

Here it is:


This year we will be trying something different, in addition to our sports offerings. We will be offering a cooking club and games club. Originally, I had thought I would offer them bi-weekly, but now I think I will do one activity each semester. I would like to look into some ideas for games club, and I won’t have it ready at the beginning of the year.

Cooking club will run throughout the first semester. The goal of cooking club is to learn to apply some math, reading, and even geography skills into a real life application. I also would like to encourage the kids to eat fresh, healthy and homemade food.

My thoughts are that this will be open to all students, but I will limit each “class” to 12 kids at a time. To borrow a phrase, we don’t need too many cooks in the kitchen. Sign-ups will be the week before each class.

Once I know how many kids have signed up for each class, I’ll buy the right amount of ingredients for that class. There will be a small fee for each class, divided equally among the kids and depending on what ingredients I needed to buy.

Below is the plan as it stands right now:

Class 1: Kitchen basics Friday, August 24

Measuring, using measuring cups and measuring spoons, cutting boards, knife safety

MAKE: Homemade(ish) pizza, Fruit pizza

Class 2: Breakfast fun Thursday, Sept. 6

Measuring, mixing, cracking eggs, whisking, using a frying pan

MAKE: Scrambled eggs, French toast

Class 3: Lunch time! Tuesday Sept. 25

Frying, cutting, trying different cheeses (nothing too weird)

MAKE: Grilled Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwiches/or ham+cheese roll-ups

Celery and PB

Class 4: Dinner (will be making it for families) Wed. Oct. 10

Browning meat, boiling, cutting, measuring

MAKE: Spaghetti Bolognese, salad, garlic bread

Class 5: Soup’s on Thursday Oct. 25

Sautéing vegetables, browning meat, simmering

MAKE: chili and black bean soup

Class 6: Baking for beginners Thursday Nov. 1

Measuring, following directions

MAKE: Homemade brownies

Class 7: Viva Mexico! Thursday Nov. 8

MAKE: Fajitas, guacamole, salsa

Class 8: Wok-a Wok-a Tuesday, Nov. 20

MAKE: Chinese stir fry

Class 9: Polska! Thursday, Dec. 8

MAKE: Kielbasa, cucumber salad, oven-roasted potatoes

End of semester celebration dinner Tuesday, Dec. 20 MENU TBA