Families learn to cook together, at Zenger Farm

Getting to use just-picked ingredients just outside the door is one reason that kids are learning to cook – during this new series of classes …

Greta Stahle chops dill for a soup garnish.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Savory smells wafted from the door of the Zenger Farm farmhouse in the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood on the cold, rainy Saturday of January 14th.

And, that delicious food being prepared was mostly cooked by youngsters.

“This is our first ‘Cooking with Kids’ class,” welcomed the instructor and chef, Christian Anayas, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America. “After I graduated in 2004, I worked in a number of restaurants; and now I’ve come to Portland, where I attend Reed College.”

Since he’s worked at Zenger Farm three years, Anayas said he’s seen the need to expand the number of workshops offered by the organization. And, one way to get people more interested in local, fresh, and sustainable food is to show them easy ways to prepare taste-tempting dishes.

Chef Christian Anayas shows Harry Shaw how to season that pot of beet borscht he’s preparing.

“And, I thought it would be especially fun and interesting to create opportunities for kids to learn to cook,” Anayas said. “Cooking together can be a fun way for families to be together.”

Cooking soups was topic of that day’s workshop. “We started by harvesting some of the vegetables we’re using today from our ‘Kids Garden’,” the chef recounted. “And, we thought it would be nice to cook soups, on a cold January day. Today, we’re preparing two different kinds of soups – a creamy clam chowder, and red beet borscht.”

Some of the kids were stirring, keeping a watchful eye on the pots. Others were cutting up garnishes and fresh bread – all too busy to comment for us, beyond: “This is fun”.

Mmmmm” is what mom Sandy Stahle says after sniffing the borscht at the Zenger Farm cooking class.

Monthly classes continue through Spring
On February 4, “Cooking with Kids” continues, with “How to make Pasta”. From 10 a.m. until 12 noon, Chef Anayas will help kids learn how to make pasta from scratch.

“You and your child will learn to mix, knead pasta dough, and use a pasta machine,” promises Anayas. “We will harvest herbs and vegetables from the farm, and return to the farmhouse to create make two kinds of pasta – fresh noodles, and filled pasta.”

Cook, eat, and go home with the recipes! The cost is $40 for one adult and one child (additional children, $15 each). To sign up online, CLICK HERE to open their “workshops” webpage. Residents of Powellhurst-Gilbert, Lents, and Pleasant Valley are offered a 15% discount on all workshops; and scholarships are available.

Call for more information about classes, discounts, or scholarships: (503) 282-4245. Zenger Farm is located at 11741 SE Foster Road.

The classes are held different Saturdays of the month. Be sure to check our COMMUNITY CALENDAR for upcoming classes!

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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