Budding Chefs inspires children by providing fun, interactive, hands-on cooking experiences

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mexican Lovers Class 10/21/10

On the menu for this week's class:  Mexican Rice Salad.  We talked about a lot of different things tonight to make them think about how we shop for food.

Convenience foods.  I had bought one pouch of Uncle Ben's brown rice, already cooked, just vent the package and microwave.  Then we made rice in the microwave rice cooker.  Later I asked them how long the already cooked rice takes (90 seconds) and how long it took us to make the rice in the rice cooker (9 minutes). We talked about how much each cost.  The "convenient" rice:  $1.25, which makes 2 cups.  The rice we had to make:  $1.44 for a whole box, which makes about 5 cups.  They understood that you have to pay for the convenience of someone else doing the work to make it go faster for you. 

We also discussed brand names and generic.  They were a bit confused by the terms.  You can tell how much information must be being discussed about gluten-free foods; they thought that's what I was talking about.  So we brought the discussion back the right way, and I told them that what I have found numerous times is that generic brands are actually healthier than the brand name products.  Sometimes they don't taste as good, but that's really no different than a taste difference between 2 different brands.  I had bought a generic brand box of rice. It had the same amount of fiber, but  there was no sodium. Why do you need sodium in rice?  The Minute Rice brand had sodium. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 weeks of this class.  The kids did everything themselves, and sometimes they amazed me with their knowledge.  They were also willing to try anything I asked them to.  Have a bite of parsley and cilantro?  Sure!  Of course they spit it out.  But I think it's important to know what ingredients taste and smell like on their own.  Especially cilantro...it has a definite flavor, and I'll bet from now on, they will know when something has cilantro in it just by tasting.

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