Local youngsters had a sweet introduction to the culinary arts at a children's cooking class held at the Brown Barn Café in Shavertown on Feb. 17.
About 20 tykes participated in the class, held monthly at the café. In honor of the recently-observed Valentine's Day, participants whipped up a batch of red velvet cupcakes and frosting from scratch.
Café owner John Costello said the classes began in May 2011 as a way to show children and adults alike that it's not impossible to make fresh food fast.
I wanted kids to see how easy it is to make real food from scratch, said Costello. I was making cupcakes with my 8-year-old daughter and I messed up the batter. I made another batter in two or three minutes. I thought to myself, ‘How much faster could the stuff from a box take to make?'
Costello said the class has another added benefit – it's fun.
Plenty of those in attendance had previously dabbled in food prep, including 11-year-old Ben Reavy, of Trucksville. He came to the event with his brother, 7-year-old Decklan, and mom Susan to show off his skills in the kitchen.
Ben is the resident chef at home, said Susan Reavy. He is the creator of creators.
She said her eldest son likes to make trumped-up versions of his mom's standard desserts.
He'll take an ordinary cupcake and make it new, she said. Just this morning he said he wanted molten cupcakes. I just made regular ones, and he melted chocolate over the top of them.
Other seasoned students of sustenance had to learn the hard way. Elaine Rogocuski, of Pikes Creek, said she doesn't like to cook, so she's hoping her two children can learn to take the reins at dinner time.
It's fun, said 9-year-old Brayden Rogocuski. I like to cook steak at home with my dad.
Brayden's sister, 5-year-old Brenna, doesn't like spending too much time working in the kitchen unless she is the taste-tester for her brother's creations. She helped during the baking session by tasting the sugar before Brayden added it to the batter.
Anything with sugar, I'm there, said Brenna.
The biggest challenge during the class for 8-year-old Sophia Kruger, of Shavertown, and 9-year-old Bridget Dowd, of Lehighton? Deciding who would crack the egg.
There's only one egg, said Kruger. I think I like the messiness of cooking. I like cracking eggs.
In the end, the girls attempted to break the egg together, which resulted in fishing out egg shell fragments with their fingers.
We're familiar with this challenge, laughed Abbe Kruger, Sophia's mom.
Jill Walsh brought her daughters, 5-year-old Teagan Cotter and 8-year-old Eiden Cotter, all of Dallas, to the class because she thought it was a good opportunity for children to see what goes into the food they eat.
And sometimes that includes tasting things they aren't supposed to eat.
I like to taste the batter (before it bakes), Teagan said. We all do that.
While the cupcakes baked, the children were treated to a reading by local artist and children's author Angelo DeMuro, of Shavertown.
For more information about children's cooking classes at the Brown Barn Café, visit call 674-9787. The next class will be held on Sunday, March 10. Reservations are encouraged.