A Cooking Lesson.

IMG_1406In this week’s adventures with my Girl Scouts, we went on a field trip to the Charlottesville Cooking School where they earned their cooking badge.  They have been looking forward to this for months, having asked for a lesson at the school back when we planned the year together back in September.

In my five years as a troop leader, I can count on one hand the number on meetings I’ve handed off for someone else to plan.  This was one of them.   I knew we were in good hands with Martha – she’s been a troop leader herself, she’s worked with them in the past having assisted when we worked on our Small Business badge last year, and as the mother of one of their schoolmates, she knows most of the girls fairly well. After setting a date and telling her what time we could get the girls to the school, I left everything else up to her.

IMG_1424In the crazy busy-ness of my life recently, handing something off felt luxuriously good.

IMG_1430The girls started their class making vanilla pudding.

IMG_1425With corn starch as thickener.

IMG_1449The girls were split into two groups.

One used white sugar in their pudding, the other used brown sugar.

IMG_1450The brown sugar batch had a slightly different color and was richer in flavor, just as Martha said it would be.  I’m so using brown sugar in my next batch of vanilla pudding.


Up next they worked on some knife skills.

IMG_1461Martha encouraged the girls to try using the longer bladed chef knives, walking them through the proper techniques. Some of the girls were definitely nervous about it, but they all tried it.  Two of them switched up to smaller paring knives, but one of them realized the bigger knife was easier and went back to the longer blade.  I knew she’d come around.  (That child in question was mine.)

IMG_1463The girls minced garlic & ginger, chopped scallions, bok choy & tofu for a stir fry.

IMG_1484As I hovered about taking photos, the girls reminded me of lessons they had learned in their photography lesson last month.  “Take them from different angles” I love watching their knowledge come together.


I didn’t learn the menu of the class until the morning of.  I wondered how the tofu was going to go over  –  some of them can be picky eaters.  They were all extremely polite about and some of them even liked it. I’ve noticed kids tend to be a bit more open minded about new foods when they learn to cook it themselves.

IMG_1523Every last one of them couldn’t wait to cook something for their mothers.

Which I call complete success.

7 thoughts on “A Cooking Lesson.

    • Becky says:

      I can report that my own little girl scout has demanded her own set of ramekins from the Easter Bunny this year. So yes, it is going to continue!

  1. WRD says:

    Awesome! A good cutlerly lesson should be mandatory for anyone working in a kitchen. As for tofu, one way to encourage people to use it is to describe it as a “flavor delivery device” like mushrooms, cornbread, or rice. WRD

    • Becky says:

      Martha gives such a fantastic lesson on cutlery that she’s gotten my cautious gal comfortable using big knives.
      The tofu had been pressed, so it was nice and firm, in a stir fry sauce made up of orange juice and tamari. It was quite good and even the ones apprehensive about it found they liked it. Many cooks shy away from it because they don’t know how to cook with it.

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