Teaching Children How to Souffle

I did something today that I thought I would never do: teach kids how to make souffles! And, I actually enjoyed myself. Each summer at Sur La Table, we have a series of kids cooking classes (“Kids Camp”); several weeks during which kids (and teens) invade our kitchen to learn how to cook. In reality, most of them already know how to cook quite well.  Some of them have very advanced palettes and a broad knowledge of foods. One little boy was actually swooning over cherry tomatoes and basil yesterday because the combination reminded him of how much he loves bruschetta!

Last summer, I was an assistant in some of these classes and I enjoyed working with them–especially the teens. But this year, I was tasked with teaching. Even though I had participated in the camp in the past, I was absolutely horrified to work with these 8 to 12 year old humans. What if they laughed at me? What if someone cut herself? Or started crying? Or what if they didn’t listen to me? I was so nervous, in fact, that I actually told my boss that I would not fill in to teach a kids class when the instructor originally scheduled to teach called out sick–an assertion that is incongruent with my usual tendency to help out whenever needed.

It was another moment of self doubt. I was sure I would be impatient and no fun. I felt undertrained, like Sur La Table should be hiring people that specialize in working with children to teach kids camp. But I was, in fact, fully capable of walking sixteen kids through a few recipes. And, we actually had fun and learned something!

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