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Middle Schoolers Get Cooking

East Lyme Youth Services offers a new program aimed at the next Emeril or Giada DeLaurentis! BAM!!

Joe and Rita Palazzo are one of those couples who are an integral part of their community. They seem to know everyone, and always have a smile on their faces. They're quick to offer help, they both volunteer at the Senior Center Meal Site, and make delicious meals for big parties with love in every bite!

Rita fills in for the First Selectman's Executive Assistant when Mrs. Stevens is on vacation. Rita has fabulous style and a regal presence that makes her stand out. In short, they are a formidable team.

Whenever I saw the Palazzos, I couldn't help but think how great they would be as instructors for our community's youth. They are very good teachers, and are patient when explaining how they make their delectable creations, even to me. I am one of those people who appreciate great cooks, but am not one myself.

Families, mine included, seem to be so busy running around to appointments, work, school, after-school extracurriculars and sports that it's hard to find time to pass on family recipes, cooking basics, and tips. We are getting something quick, and rarely sitting down together.

We want to encourage skills in youth that contribute to their self-sufficiency and independence, while stressing safety and responsibility. After lengthy discussion, we decided we'd try to start a generational meeting of the minds in the kitchen, and call it Cooking 101.

Making Italian food will be expected, but Rita is determined to show kids a variety of traditions. She wants to plan her teaching around what the kids want to learn about. With such experienced hands to guide our youth, we are sure it will be an experience to remember.

Starting February 5th, and every other Saturday in February, Cooking 101 will take place in the professional-sized kitchen in the Community Center from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., 10 a.m. until noon (longer if needed) weeks 2 though 4.

The cost for 4 weeks of instruction is only $50. Youth in grades 6 and up are welcome to register. Youth are expected to be mature and responsible. They will be working with knives and the stove, in a supervised setting. Students will need to wear baseball caps or tie back long hair while working in the kitchen. 

Participants are encouraged to bring Tupperware containers to bring home goodies they make to share with their families. Registration is mandatory. I am attaching our registration form for your convenience. Please mail it in with payment, or drop off to either the Youth Services or Parks and Recreation offices M-F 8:30-4:30.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sarah Butterfield January 29, 2013 at 02:04 PM
I'm sorry,, the date is wrong. It starts on February 2nd. Jatyne, can you fix that for me? :) thanks!
Sarah Butterfield January 29, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Even "Jayne" is tough for me this morning! Sorry!

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