Monday, June 10, 2013

Well, Everyone….It’s Summer and We Are Cookin’!

By: “Whole Foods Nana”, a Network Fan

The Nana Network always has it’s radar on for fun things to do with the grandkids—particularly over the summer, so when we learned of a cooking camp offered in Whole Foods stores throughout the country, we sent one of our grandmothers over to check it out. She brought her two grandkids, ages 8 and 6 to the first in a series of cooking classes at the grocery store, and hopes to go back every Saturday. The Whole Foods in her neck of the woods started classes on June 8 and has plans to run them every weekend until August! 

As my Nana friend discovered upon arriving to the 4 o’clock event a little early, Whole Foods’ store manager, Johnny Rose said that this was the first time they’d tried a cooking class for kids. Mr. Rose and 3 assistants were anticipating 25 kids ranging in age from 6 to 12. They were setting up in the store’s cafeteria.  By the way, Mr. Rose thought it was totally cool that this article would be appearing on this blog and posted to 2,000+ fans of the Nana Network and said to tell ya’ll hi!

Says Whole Foods Nana: “It was such an incredible price that the event overbooked and I saw the store manager turning people away. For just $5 a class, a child can eat everything they make. And for this first class we made a lot, starting with watermelon & honey spritzers, then moving on to taco building, with cinnamon flan for dessert.”     

Sounds good to this Nana! “What did your grandkids think?” I asked.

She replied:  “You know, it’s funny. I thought both of them would be psyched because we like to watch Chopped, Sweet Genius and other Food Network stuff when they come over to my house, but when I told them I booked them a half dozen cooking classes at Whole Foods, my little granddaughter started jumping up and down for joy, and my grandson cried. He thought it would be corny. As it turned out, he probably benefitted more than anyone in the room because he’s a picker eater to the point where he gets run down and sick sometime, and was trying a lot of what was passed around at this cooking class… for the very first time!!  He now likes salsa and chicken tacos!”

My Whole Foods Nana went on to say that there was little cooking (most everything had been made hours before), but a lot of explaining. The audience got to see a health food specialist brown the tortillas in a grill pan and advise on how to build the perfect chicken taco.  She went from table to table and opened cans of beans, corn and other veggies for the kids, as well as patiently dole out pre-made yellow rice, explaining that it got its color from turmeric.  

TOP NANA can’t wait to make the salsa recipe that I’ve tweaked and modified: Click on MILD BUT SUPER SALSA and another poolside party treat for the kiddos, WATERMELON SLUSHIES, just perfect on a hot summer’s day.     

Check in on my blog every Monday, now through August to get new summer recipes inspired by cooking camp; all of it will be kid-friendly and especially awesome for the picky eater in your life.  Now, grab your suits and towels, pack a picnic basket and take your yummy fare beach or poolside. Happy summer everyone!


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