When we think about kids in the kitchen we often think about baking cookies or cupcakes, but preparing meals together can be just as much fun and entertaining for kids of all ages. Kids are naturally curious about cooking and they are more willing to try foods that they help prepare, or vegetables that they choose at the supermarket or even plant in the garden.
While in Brazil last month I did a little internship cooking with 18 kids ages 9-13 at the beloved Escola Wilma Kövesi de Cozinha, which included a trip to the charming organic nursery Sabor de Fazenda, where the kids learned about organic gardening and composting and tried edible flowers and herbed butter as part of their snack.
During 3 mornings the children learned where ingredients came from, what they tasted like separately and how they transformed when combined in a recipe. They learned about safety in the kitchen and how to work in collaboration with other kids. They experimented, explored, boosted their creativity and their confidence, all while having fun and making friends. Some of the kids were experienced cooks and others were first timers, but they were all equally eager to experiment in the kitchen. Most of them were positively surprised by their accomplishments and many of them had second servings, while very few were not too keen on eating everything, but still loved the experience. I, was in heaven, cooking surrounded by curious little cooks.
We made vegetable kebabs, quick bread, mini cookies, lemonade, fish with spinach cream, fruit with chocolate sauce, kibe (Lebanese-style dish of beef and bulgur wheat) and the hearts of palm pie that I share with you here.
Torta de Palmito appears often in Brazilian cuisine. It is delicate in flavor and a great dish for a brunch, lunch or a light dinner (especially if made ahead). Recipes sometimes will include chopped tomatoes, peas, corn or hardboiled eggs, but the classic and simple is a favorite and great to make with children and teach them different skills.
And if you are based in São Paulo, check out these awesome businesses for adults and children alike:
Escola Wilma Kövesi de Cozinha: www.wkcozinha.com.br 11 3063 1592 / 11 30829151
Sabor de Fazenda: http://www.sabordefazenda.com.br 11 2631-4915
HEARTS OF PALM PIE (torta de palmito – recipe from the children’s classes program by Escola Wilma Kövesi de Cozinha)
For the filling: