Cooking class was a favorite among the kids during ZOE’s Summer Camp 2011, especially since it usually centered around sugar, candies and licking of fingers! As we studied our summer camp theme, Around the World, the children were taught about different parts of the world as well as the Great Commission and sharing the Gospel with many lands. Each week we explored a new continent which challenged me to pick an interesting item to teach them how to cook and taste.
We began our world tour with North America where I chose none other than apple pie as a symbol of the Land of the Free. This all-American emblem proved to be a big hit with most of the children eating apple pie for their very first time.
Next we traveled to South America and said “Hola!” to cheese quesadillas and homemade salsa. Realizing that children’s love for sugar transcends nationalities and borders, I decided to teach the beloved gingerbread man as a part of our tour of Europe. What a field day they had with frosting, candies and sprinkles getting into every imaginable place!
Next came Africa where I was challenged with finding something simple to prepare but still yummy. I settled on a cross between a candy and a cookie, called kashata, a treat consisting of peanuts, flour and sugar, rolled in coconut. In addition, I introduced them to the refreshing Moroccan snack of cinnamon oranges.
On to Asia where I ambitiously selected sushi rolls to teach our now budding chefs! I realize now this was biting off a lot more than I wanted to chew but it ended up a great success and one of our most popular dishes. But what a surprise to see our “spicy” Thai kids overwhelmed by the taste of fiery wasabi. Apparently some of them thought the potent paste was akin to the gingerbread icing they’d had and so heaped it on by the spoonful! Our world tour ended with a stop in Australia where we created the popular lamingtons, a delicious cake dipped in melted chocolate and rolled in coconut.
Though some had doubts that we could teach 60 kids ranging in age from 4 to 16, most of whom who had never been in a kitchen before, a hands-on cooking lesson each week, I was touched by how attentive, appreciative, and able our ZOE children proved.