Children received a hands-on experience in the kitchen learning how to bake, kitchen safety, and cleanliness at the Kids Summer Baking Camp from July 8-12 at the Temecula Community Center.
The camp was designed to make baking fun and creative for children.
Using a fully equipped commercial kitchen, Celine Cossou-Bordes, one of the cooking instructors at the camp, taught the children how to follow recipes, how to use a scale, measuring, and maintaining a clean workspace in the kitchen.
On the first day of baking camp the children learned how to make French cookies and tarts with a filling made with fresh fruit, yogurt, lemon, and sugar. While preparing the cookie dough, each child was given a different task. Some were instructed to mix, measure, or prepare the butter, and all the children took turns helping out to roll the dough. The children also took turns brushing an egg glaze onto the cookies.
Sharing with others was also part of the baking experience. The children were given an assortment of berries to add to their tart, since there was not a large abundance of fruit to go around, the children were instructed to share.
The children even learned kitchen secrets, such as how to crack an egg correctly. At the beginning of the class, each of the children introduced themselves and what they like to bake.
The 12 children that attended the class, including boys and girls from ages 6-12, were first instructed by Cossou-Bordes to wash their hands before getting started.
Throughout the hour and a half of class she stressed to the children how important it is to keep their hands clean while cooking, especially if one were to sneeze.
Cossou-Bordes, a French native, has been teaching the camp in Temecula for about five years and has also written many cookbooks.
She gave a brief introduction to where the cookies they were making came from; teaching the children the origin of the food is one of the core objectives for Cossou-Bordes.
There is a method to how Cossou-Bordes teaches cooking to children. She said most of the children that attend the cooking class tend to eat mostly pizza or hotdogs and they don’t eat enough food made from scratch.
“Every day when I ask them ‘What did you have for lunch?’ it’s not good [and] it’s not healthy,” she said.
Cossou-Bordes taught the children how to cook healthier food. Everything that she taught was made from scratch and instructed the children to begin using better ingredients such as organic or seasonal.
On Monday, July 8, the children each made their own tart. Teaching children how to make their own things is one of the best methods while cooking, Cossou-Bordes said.
She also said it’s important that the children make something that they recognize, as well as being creative. Touching and smelling things is also important that the children like to do when cooking.
“It makes a big difference,” she said.
At the end of each class the children were able to eat what they made.
“They worked very hard,” Cossou-Bordes said to the children’s parents at the end of Monday’s class.
During the course of the camp the children also learned key techniques on how to make cupcakes, ice cream, and cake.
At the end of the camp session the children received a baking diploma and copies of all the recipes they made.