If the halls of S.S. Seward are filled with the warm, inviting scent of fresh baking, it can only mean one thing; the Middle School Cooking Club is having a meeting.
The club, which meets in Nicole Wagner’s Home and Careers studio, is made up of Grade 6 and Grade 7 students who are eager to spend time in the kitchen.
“They definitely like the eating part,” said Ms. Wagner as she dished out servings of S’Mores Lasagna, a gooey, chocolaty dessert the students made on a recent December afternoon.
But, said Ms. Wagner, it’s not all sweet treats and snacking. The students select the recipe, calculate the number of servings they need, and are given a budget. Then they have to source the ingredients and determine the cost making the dish.
“They really have to work together and figure out what we can afford to make and what can be done in the time we have,” she said.
Cooking for oneself is a crucial life skill, but learning to cook, and cooking together, has a host of benefits, including:
- Cooking reinforces math, reading, and chemistry skills.
- Cooking brings families together.
- Cooking builds self-esteem.
- Cooking makes kids more willing to try new foods.
- Children who cook tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.
- When kids cook they learn about the origins of food and about different cultures.
Students in the higher grades take Home and Careers class at S.S. Seward, but, said Ms. Wagner, the younger students are eager to learn their way around the kitchen. That’s why the Cooking Club has always been popular.
“They have a great time in here,” she said. “They can’t wait to cook for each other.”
The Middle School Cooking Club recently baked a couple batches of these sweet treats.
12 whole graham crackers
6 (1.5 ounce) bars milk chocolate candy bars
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Crumble 6 graham crackers one to the bottom of an 8×8 inch glass baking dish. Break 3 chocolate bars into a total of 12 pieces and arrange on top of the crackers in 3 rows, with each row containing 3 pieces of chocolate. Sprinkle with ½ cup marshmallows. Repeat for a second layer.
Bake in preheated oven until marshmallows are brown, about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, then serve and enjoy!