“Spring rolls are perfect because you can put the whole rainbow inside!” Said a 5 year old market kid, as she filled her rice paper with market fresh vegetables. That’s just what we like to hear! Kids excited about colorful vegetables and fruits. And what better way to expose them to these items than by attending the market weekly?
Rhianna and many other kids (and adults, too!) visited the market’s info booth on Sunday to make a spring roll. Or 3 or 4. It’s all a part of Hillcrest Farmers’ Market new Summer Cooking Series, Cooking Up Fresh Summer Fare with Market Girl! And with Cas, too, who regularly runs the market’s info booth. On the last Sunday of each month, through September, kids can come to the info booth to make a sort of culinary art project, if you will. We will make recipes using produce found around the market. It’s a great opportunity for kids to try new things and to showcase the seasonal fruits and vegetables.
What we found at the first of four cooking series was that the parents were just as into the recipe as the kids. As it should be. It’s all a part of what we’re trying to teach, which is that food is food. No need to dumb it down, if you will, for kids. Everything is worth at least a taste! And if they don’t like it, at least the kids spent time identifying it, touching it, seeing it, and using it in a recipe. It’s a step further than simply being at the market and seeing the vendors distributing, It’s a chance to play and love; to see what flavors taste good, to see what different combinations can be created. It’s just plain fun.
One thing I loved besides watching the parents’ involvement was that the kids had so much fun building a roll that they ended up wanting to make more and more. And not just for themselves, but for their parents. And for Cas and I! They “taught” their parents how to make a spring roll and asked them what they want inside, green onions or kale? Avocado or cilantro?
I plan on incorporating other items from the market into the demos as well. Maybe peanut butters one week, cheeses another. Maybe some contests or games. We’ll see. Suggestions are welcome. I am excited to be cooking with the market kids! Come join me next time (for kids and “big kids”, too. Because, aren’t we all kids, really!?)
For a spring roll tutorial head over to my blog.
And if you are interested in more cooking classes for your kids, check out Flour Children!
Have a great week!