City Kitchen, Reading Terminal Market
There are a few programs in the city that are getting kids in the kitchen. Hungry Education is one of those programs and they have set up shop this summer in City Kitchen’s private demo kitchen space that is tucked away in the back of Reading Terminal Market. If you were not looking for it you would easily miss it, which is one of the reason I really love the space.
Last week the boys and some friends got a chance to road test a Make It and Bake It Class hosted by Hungry Education’s Founder Megan Haupt. We grabbed a spot on the street and headed into the hustle and bustle of the market. I had never been to City Kitchen so the whole time I am thinking how are the kid’s going to take a cooking class and behave in the busy atmosphere of Reading Terminal Market? Not to worry. As I mentioned before City Kitchen is in the back of the market in its own private space, that is closed off by glass doors. To the right there is a sitting area with tables and chairs and to the left is big long counter and a giant kitchen.
For our experience we had a total of eight kids. Now I probably would not cook with eight kids but Megan is a professional and runs these programs all the time for schools. This specific class was 90 minutes and as the kids bellied up to the counter the parents were free to go shopping in the market, grab a coffee, or just sit and catch up.
The class kicked off with everyone taking a turn at the sink to wash their hands. Next Megan talked about all the ingredients that they were going to use. Megan always makes sure she incorporates math and food science wherever she can during the session. As a group they talk about measurements and the role of each ingredient in the recipe.*I learned that on a really hot day, like the day we were there, you should add a little bit more flour to the recipe because the butter will be more melted and that will keep the cookies from being too flat.
The whole process was collaborative. Megan put the more “active” boys on mixing the butter.
The younger little ones in the group were in charge of adding the chocolate chips.
I would say the calmer big siblings got the important job of egg cracking along with measuring out and adding the flour (might I add I still make a mess with the flour when I bake).
Everyone got to scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet. The kitchen was big enough that everyone was able to go behind the counter as Megan put the cookies in the oven.
The kids then went into to clean up mode and by the time I came back in they were eating warm, gooey, cookies that they created! *Megan takes the cookies right out of the oven and pops them in the fridge for a minute… this cooled the cookies down enough that everyone could have one almost immediately.
*Because we were doing a feature Megan let us bring the younger siblings. Normally the classes are for ages 6+. After watching the younger siblings, including my own Ollie, I understand why the age limit starts at 6… especially for boys. I think Ollie would have done better if he was not so excited to be with his friend Loren. I did have to spend time herding Ollie into paying attention and focusing on cooking and not karate chopping 🙂 Now that you know that you can see it in the pictures.
If you are looking for something different to do this summer I would check out Hungry Education on-line or on their Facebook page. Both Hungry Education and City Kitchen have events going on all summer.
July 11-15 at City Kitchen at Reading Terminal Market
August 8-11 at Springfield Township Department of Parks and Recreation
Camp Make It & Bake It is filled with food-intensive fun. For more information about these camps call 267-420-0712.