Kids need to be able to cook. Or rather adults need to know how to cook and the best time to learn is when you are young. I married a truly lovely man who has a whopping 5 meals he’s good at. Five isn’t a terrible number but when, thanks to morning sickness, the mere idea of making food is too much, this previously pregnant mamma would have really appreciated her hubby knowing how to make a few more meals. My two sons are burgeoning chefs. If the ability to make lemon poppyseed muffins and a mean batch of homemade hummus makes one a chef. So, in an effort to send my boys forth in the world armed with more than the ability to make 5 meals, we are taking cooking classes together.

Well Seasoned in Langley offers a parent & child cooking class. This Fall our family took a class together: mom, dad, 6 year old & 8 year old. It was a blast! Together we made spaghetti & meatball soup (insanely delicious), crispy chicken tenders with mustard custard (tastiest tenders EVER), and an oatmeal cookie with marshmallow fluff (the cookie was even better than my go-to homemade chocolate chip cookies). Spending 2 hours of dedicated one-on-one time with our boys, while we learned some new skills, was an experience my husband and I won’t soon forget.

Well Seasoned

Making meals – especially those school lunches – is sometimes a monotonous experience. However, we have to feed ourselves and why wouldn’t we want to eat fresh, tasty, healthy food instead of something you throw in the microwave? The only way kids are going to learn how to cook is if we teach them. Taking a class together made the act of teaching our boys how to cook easy. Cooking at home with the kids sees me flying around grabbing ingredients, glancing briefly at recipe-instructions, and wiping up spills, all while shrieking “stir slower”. To have the cooking-lesson happen outside of my kitchen, with all of the ingredients pulled & organized for us was the equivalent of staying in a 5-star hotel.

Chef Carl - Well SeasonedOur instructor for the parent & kid cooking class was Chef Carl Sawatsky. The chef did an excellent job of pacing the steps so every child was able to keep up, and made sure everyone was having a great time. We started our 2-hour class making meatballs. At first our kids weren’t enthused about working with raw meat but once they discovered that ice cream scoops were available to shape the meatballs they were on board. I love that the class has the kids being responsible for EVERYTHING. It is the kids who are intended to chop the onions, peel the carrots, dice the vegetables. While parents are there to ensure digits don’t get mangled, the kids are 100% hands-on. It was unnerving watch my 6 year old wield a massive knife but he was determined and confident. (It probably didn’t help that he and I have different dominant hands so every cut he made looked exceedingly dangerous to my left-handed brain).

After the meatballs were made, it was onto the soup. I learned a great way to make a bouquet garnis! Use a stick of celery and stuff all the herbs into the channel and tie the string around the whole package. It worked brilliantly! The tomato soup was the best I’ve ever had. Seriously! I’m sure it had nothing to do with the 1c of cream we added at the end. But seriously, I didn’t know my life was missing spaghetti and meatball soup, but it was! And I may have made the soup a few times since the class. It’s just so darned tasty.

Well SeasonedWithout a doubt our kids’ favourite part of the class was the eating. Our youngest didn’t realize that eating was allowed. He just about fell off his chair when we told him he got to eat everything he made. And while both my kids eat most things, it can sometimes be a battle to get the little one to eat with any speed. He LOVED everything he made and gobbled it up quickly. I’m highly tempted to assign that kid one meal every week, just to make him eat faster (no one should take 2 hours to eat a grilled cheese sandwich, a sandwich they requested).

Once the soup was devoured we started making the crispy chicken tenders. I love to cook and I cook often, so I was a bit horrified by a lesson I learned in class. When dredging chicken (or anything for that matter), it is always best to have a DRY hand and a WET hand. It makes complete sense but I won’t tell you how many years I’ve used both hands and ended up with them caked in a combination of flour, egg, and bread crumbs. But back to the experience… the kids did the dredging of the chicken, the parents cooked the meat in the hot oil. The end result was crispy juicy chicken tenders that topped any I’ve had in the past.

Our class ended with the making of the Oatmeal Cookies stuffed with Marshmallow Fluff. Well we actually made the cookies in the middle of the class. But the end of the class saw us slathering marshmallow fluff between insanely delicious oatmeal, raisin, chocolate chip cookies. I’m drooling just thinking about them. I got so into the eating of the cookies I completely forgot to take a picture of them. That’s how good they were!

Here are a few tips when taking a Parent & Kids Cooking Class Together:

  1. Make sure the class isn’t your child’s first time in the kitchen. While the class is paced for kids, it moves at a fast enough rate that if your child is brand new to a kitchen environment they may feel overwhelmed.
  2. Bring containers for leftovers. You end up making a sizeable amount of food and you don’t want it to go to waste. As Well Seasoned isn’t a restaurant, they don’t have take-away containers. It is best to bring your own. And bring one container per dish you are making. You don’t want to have to cram left-over-entree in with your left-over-dessert.
  3. Class participants receive 10% off at the Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store the day of their class. Have a look through your cupboards and stock up on your speciality items. Spices, gourmet baking chocolate, flavoured oils, unique pasta, and so much more are such a treat…even more so with a discount.
  4. Wear comfortable clothes. You are up and down a lot. You also are reaching across a table on a regular basis. Tie back long hair, don’t wear hoodies with dangling drawstrings, and wear something that is cool. You are working over a hot stove.
  5. The website says classes are for kids aged 8 & up. If you have a child who is a bit younger, give Well Seasoned a call and see if they will make an exception. The only hinderance to a slightly younger (but mature) child would be their height. They need to be able to reach across a worktable or be tall enough to stir a pot on top of the stove top.

The class is intended for 1 parent and 1 child aged 8 years or older. The cost is $130 (that’s total for the parent & child). Just call Langley’s Well Seasoned store to register (604-530-1518). Check out the Well Seasoned Upcoming Cooking Classes calendar.

Parents & Kids Cook Together at Well Seasoned:

Where: Well Seasoned
Address: 117 – 20353 64th Avenue, Langley

Well Seasoned