Kids and families can learn new recipes during Anoka County Library’s Curiosity Cooking Classes hosted using educational cooking carts.
A Curiosity Cooking Class hosted at Crooked Lake Library in Coon Rapids Nov. 16 taught families how to make savory herb scones using a mobile cooking educational tool called a Charlie Cart.
The Charlie Cart is a mobile cooking cart equipped with storage for various utensils, electricity, a convection oven, a hot plate and a sink.
“An engineer designed it so everything fits in the cart,” Library Associate Erin Conley said. “We have gray water and fresh water so we can actually use the sink while we’re cooking.”
Both Crooked Lake and Mississippi libraries have the mobile kitchens and offer regular cooking classes. The kitchens were purchased with a Statewide Health Improvement Partnership grant.
The kitchens are from the Charlie Cart Project, which designed the carts as an all-in-one program for teaching about food and cooking.
During the class, each family sat at a table with ingredients and utensils. Conley walked them through each step, measuring out ingredients, kneading the dough and cutting it into scones.
While the scones were baking, the families experimented with baking soda and vinegar. They poured baking soda into a balloon and vinegar into a water bottle. Then they attached the balloon to the bottle and dumped the soda in, which reacted with the vinegar to create carbon dioxide and inflate the balloon. The experiment was an example of how baking soda is used as a leavening agent to raise bread.
“All of our cooking programs include STEM activities,” Conley said, using a common abbreviation for science, technology, engineering and math.
The classes have been offered for about a year. They started as a way to teach kids about cooking, particularly those from lower-income households or who live a food desert where fresh food is not easily accessible.
“We want to teach the kids that they can make fresh food,” Conley said.
While the classes are currently offered for kids and families, the library expects to offer adult classes in 2020, according to community engagement manager Erin Straszewski.
For more events go to the Anoka County Library’s events page, or follow this link: