A sizzlin’ summer | SummitDaily.com

A sizzlin’ summer

SUMMIT COUNTY – Eight-year-old Amanda Freeman of Dillon has traded her schoolbooks and pencils for an apron and pots and pans this summer.

As one of the students of Silverthorne’s Kids in the Kitchen cooking class, Freeman is learning how to cook during her school break.

In the class, Nancy Bomgardner, Silverthorne’s kids programs and special events coordinator, and Megan Corbett, recreation intern, teach the children the basics of working in the kitchen. They learn how to chop, dice and slice vegetables, how to preserve meat by freezing it and how to defrost it.

And, of course, they learn how to cook. Freeman and her fellow students have made cookies, smoothies, quesadillas, pita pizzas, fruit kabobs and pigs in a blanket. Perhaps the best part of the class is sampling the menus they’ve created.

Kayla Duplan said she enjoyed making – and eating – the desert quesadillas the most.

On Tuesday, Corbett taught Freeman, Paige Rappleye, 9, Kristin Anderson, 7, Kayla Duplan, 10, and her sister, Erica, 8, how to make chili – a dish they were preparing to enter into this weekend’s chili cook-off at the Mountain Community Fair. They reviewed their dicing skills as they prepared to saute the onions and peppers and how to work at the stove – carefully, so as not to get burned. They also learned that chopping onions is hard on the eyes.

Making chili gave the kids an opportunity to learn about spices like chili powder, bay leaves and cumin – how to measure them and how the spices enhance the taste of food.

But the course isn’t just about cooking.

In a recent class, Corbett took her students on a field trip to City Market armed with a grocery list for the food they needed to cook that day. The students split up in teams to shop for the various ingredients. Corbett taught them how to compare prices and choose the least expensive items.

Corbett also stresses the importance of hygiene and kitchen safety. The students know to wash their hands before they handle food, how to clean the counters and the dishes and to handle knives with care.

After Corbett and her students crumbled the hamburger meat into the pot to cook Tuesday, she asked the girls what they need to do when they finish working with raw meat.

“Wash our hands,” Kayla said.

“Again!” another girl piped in.

All the girls agreed they are learning from the class, even though some of them signed up for the fun factor.

“I took it because I thought it would be fun, and it is,” Anderson said.

“My mom thought it would be neat to try, and if we don’t like it, we won’t do it anymore,” Kayla said.

“But we do,” Erica said.

“Yeah, I like it,” Kayla said.

Rappleye took the class to learn more about baking and cooking so she could help her mother in the kitchen. But she’s also looking beyond assisting her mom. She wants to be a zookeeper someday.

“Taking cooking class kind of helps because sometimes you have to cook the food for the animals,” she said.

Both Freeman and Anderson are contemplating pursuing careera in the culinary field.

“I love to cook,” Freeman said.

“I’d kind of also like to be a cook because it’s fun,” Anderson said. “You get to cut the food. You get to stir the food. You get to do a lot of things with the food. And you get to feed people.”

The current session of “Kids in the Kitchen” wraps up next week. Silverthorne is offering another session for first- through fifth-graders, beginning July 21. The class is $56 for passholders and $67 for nonmembers. For more information about the class or to enroll your child, call (970) 262-7370.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or


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