Youths learn cooking is fun

By JENELLE JOHNSON
Family Living Editor

Register/Jenelle Johnson
On Friday morning at an “Express Yourself: Play With Your Food!” class Joie Whitney, at left, snipped a hole in a plastic bag to make a piping bag for icing to decorate her cake while Destiny Howard sprinkled colored sprinkles on her mini cakes.

“Express Yourself: Play With Your Food!” classes provided middle school youths the opportunity to learn proper etiquette as well as food and kitchen safety.
The week-long program was sponsored by Iola Public Library’s summer reading program and Allen County Extension service.
Youth first met at the library where they discussed good table manners and learned how to create a theme for a party and design invitations. Party themes included a take-off on the popular book series “Twilight,” as well as ideas such as summer, ocean, stars and tigers.
Austin Roloff made his party invitation so when it is opened a tiger pops up, said Leah Oswald, youth services librarian.
Youth then moved to the Allen County Courthouse for cooking lessons. They learned how to measure ingredients and were apprised of safety issues concerning the oven, sharp knives and the storing of food.
One of the most fun activities was when the kids learned to make garnishes, said Kathy McEwan, county Extension agent.
“I thought it was fun when we learned to make roses out of radishes and butterflies from lemon and lime slices,” said class participant Abigail Taylor.
After cooking lessons each day the youths learned the proper way to store food in the freezer or refrigerator. On Friday they thew themselves a party at the courthouse.
Their menu included meatballs, homemade bread, salad and cake.