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Smoked Salmon Pasta, Lemon Butter Asparagus, and Nina’s Gluten-free Granola

When I run into my students outside of class, they’re always eager to suggest lessons. Steak and lobster may not be in the budget, but I knew the perfect recipe for teaching fresh pasta while stretching a pricey piece of fish and appealing to youthful palates (i.e., having junk-food’s trifecta of fat, salt, and umami, but with wholesome ingredients).

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Kale Potato Frittata and Dutch Baby with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Perhaps the most useful cooking lesson I can teach kids is eggs: how to buy ’em, fry ’em, and transform ’em — into breakfast, main dish, or dessert. In our farmbox from Jubilee Biodynamic Farm, which arrives a few hours before class, I found a dozen farm-fresh eggs, curly kale, broccolini, potatoes, onions, and rhubarb. Perfect.

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Vegetarian Potstickers and Burdock Root Syrup

When asked if my students would make appetizers to serve at the school auction, I gave an enthusiastic yes. I knew they would be eager to contribute, because they’ve taught me what research confirms, that teens are capable of more than we think, and thrive on a sense of purpose. But which appetizer? We would need a “make ahead” recipe, ruling out most canapés. Vegetarian would be inclusive, vegan even more so, and potstickers (who doesn’t love fried dough?) seemed like a good bet.

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Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives, Mint Roasted Vegetables, and Couscous

Michael Pollan said about cooking: “To try your hand at doing something new is to find out a few new things about yourself, too.” In the kitchen, classroom, lab, or gym, as kids gain mastery, they gain self-regard. (And, as I tell my own children, they become so much more attractive as potential friends, roommates, and life partners!)

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Lentil Soup with Sausage, Greens and Garlic

Is it okay to sub green lentils for brown? Leeks for onions? Collards for kale? Hot sausage for sweet? Parmesan for pecorino? Those were the easy questions. What is biodynamic? Where is the recycling? Can you unknot this apron string? Those were a bit more challenging. Nonetheless, our first class of spring semester got off […]

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Lemongrass Chicken and Bok Choy Stirfy, Spring Greens with Clementines and Candied Pecans, Cheesy Toasts, Rhubarb Apple Berry Cobbler

First, the great news: the class was renewed! We’ll be back in the kitchen next semester, with a change from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. Sadly, Mary won’t be joining us due to a schedule conflict. If you know of someone who enjoys kids and can commit to volunteering an hour or two each week, please let […]

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Spinach-Ricotta Stuffed Pasta with Quick Tomato Sauce, Butter Lettuce with Blood Oranges and Avocado

With only one week left, the kids have hit their stride and are eager to tackle the tough stuff. Lucky for them, Kim Maynard, the dainty but doughty house chef at The Pantry at Delancey, offered to teach pasta. A former Assistant Attorney General (gotta love that career switch!), she arrived with a flowered apron, pasta machines, […]

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Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables, Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons, and Salted Caramel Sundaes

With the cottony head and body aches that precede a cold, my visit to the grocery store took twice as long as usual, and I began second-guessing my lesson plan. Could we finish it all in two hours? We’d have to hustle. Instead of tea, I started the lesson with the health-giving ginger rosemary syrup we […]

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Doctored Pasta, Garlicky Broccoli and Mary’s Apple Pie

In previous classes we’ve baked apples, made applesauce parfaits, and pressed cider, but when our own Mary Chapman (who comes straight from her job in finance each week to volunteer in the class), offered to bake apple pie with the class, I jumped at the chance. Mary has lived in France and Italy, knows her […]

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Gifts from the Kitchen: Rosemary Ginger Syrup, Peppermint Pretzel Sticks, and Pomegranate Chocolate Bark

For our last class before holiday break, I promised the kids we would make gifts. Choosing a recipe proved difficult, however. Cookies? Bread? Jam, jelly, pickles? Granola? One of my favorites, spicy herbed nuts? Kids being kids, nothing delights like candy, so when a poll of Facebook friends leaned toward peppermint bark — the best use […]

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