Now that it's officially summer and my kids are home everyday, our kitchen is a bustling place. The girls are mixing up smoothies (experimenting with ingredients like chia seeds, local berries, and a handful of fresh spinach from our garden). Fortunately, I get to enjoy a new healthy drink everyday, served up by my teens.
As they invent their smoothies, put together sandwiches, and bake cookies, they're learning in our kitchen vs in school—and the down time is good for them. They're getting creative, reading up on nutrition, and ultimately, fine-tuning the important life skill of cooking. Yes, they are teenagers, but this hands-on learning can happen at any age, from toddlers patting biscuit dough to elementary school kids practicing reading and fractions and science. I truly believe that the kitchen is the best classroom.
This summer, I'm going to be talking to various groups about how cooking is a great way to keep the learning going when school's out. On Sunday June 28th, I'll be sharing some simple recipes at the American Library Association convention—and offering tips to children's librarians on how they can set up cooking classes at their local libraries. On July 18th, I'll be at the Berkshire Museum, cooking up spring rolls and other international foods for kids who want to explore geography through food. I'll also be leading a kids' cooking camp at the Odyssey bookstore in Hadley, MA, on July 28th. If you are out and about, please stop by at any of these special events with your kids!
If you are looking for some recipes to keep your own kids learning over the summer, check out our new Kidstir Summer Sips kit and online recipes (yes, an Orange Float is an edible science experiment!). You can also take a look at recipes excerpted from my cookbook in the summer issues of Edible Pioneer Valley or Relish.
Happy summer cooking!