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Department of Parks and Recreation Column

Baking classes are available for local youth and teens alike.

As the autumn chill fills the air, comfort foods and baked delights fills our minds. With the joy of holiday baking always in the forefront of this writer’s mind, it is very exciting to look at the list of baking classes available for local youth and teens alike. The Recreation Commercial Kitchen is fortunate to have the expertise of four local bakers and chefs to lead its fall and winter line-up of programs. Returning this winter is Chef Katie Sklarow and Bakers Diane MacFeeters, Chris Van Sciver and James Hilton. Moorestown Recreation is all in this fall with an exciting line-up of baking opportunities for aspiring chefs and bakers.

Chef Katie Sklarow returns to the Recreation Commercial Kitchen just in time for the holidays. Beginning in early November, her new baking basics and more — holiday edition will cover the basics of baking for the holidays and expand on prior knowledge. Throughout this four-week course, children will fine-tune their measurements, ratios and proportions and be given more challenging recipes. This experiential learning opportunity will include recipes for quick breads, cookies, cupcakes and pies and will be taken home and enjoyed. Chef Katie will also offer two, one-day workshops on pie making.

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Baking pies for Thanksgiving will be offered on Tuesday, Nov. 22 or Wednesday, Nov. 23 for grades four through seven. This one-day intensive class is being offered in the afternoon on an MTPS half day. Chef Katie will teach children how to make pies from beginning to end. They will go home with two pies for the Thanksgiving holiday. Pie dough will be made from scratch as well as the pie filling and each child will be able to bring a pumpkin pie and an apple-cinnamon pie to Thanksgiving dinner.

Chef Katie will return with her popular kid chef program in two micro-sessions of two classes each. The first session, held on Wednesday, Nov. 16 and Wednesday, Nov. 30, will focus on warm autumn recipes; pumpkin ravioli from scratch, oven roasted chicken, garlic herb bread and roasted veggies. The second session, held on Wednesday, Dec. 7 and Wednesday, Dec. 14, will be holiday themed with fresh apple sauce, potato pancakes (latkes), loaded baked ziti and scratch made garlic bread. This program is designed to help adolescent students learn fundamental culinary practices that they can build upon. Chef Katie will lead this group of “junior foodies” as they explore fun and easy recipes. Separate registration for each two-week session is required.

Renowned Baker, Diane MacFeeters returns to the Recreation Commercial Kitchen with her exciting two-week course on holiday bread baking. This micro-session for grades four through eight will cover lessons on yeast, bread production, dough rising, proofing and shaping. On Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Tuesday, Dec. 13, MacFeeters will lead young people through the time-honored tradition of bread baking, yielding beautiful and delicious loaves to bring to holiday feasts. She will cover both yeast breads and quick breads. During rising times for the yeast breads, MacFeeters will instruct on quick breads. Yeast breads may be finished by baking at home in some cases, leaving parents with the intoxicating aroma of fresh bread in the air. And for those not wanting to be outdone by their younger siblings or their children, MacFeeters will also offer a 14-year through adult class on Friday, Dec. 2 and Friday, Dec. 16. Teens and adults can learn the finer points of bread baking to be able to make homemade gifts for the holidays.

And finally, the dynamic Duo of VanSciver and Hilton returns with their ever-popular Holiday Cookie Workshops. Two individual workshops will be offered on Saturday Dec. 10 or Sunday, Dec. 17. Geared toward children in grades four through six, this cookie workshop will cover the basics of holiday baking including measurements, ratios, and proportions. Children will be given hands-on instructions for making cookie favorites. Food prepared will be available to take home and enjoy afterwards. Instructors Hilton and VanSciver are accomplished bakers having a combined 25 years in restaurant and bakery experience. Their goal is to educate and inspire young bakers to create and enjoy baking on many levels — to learn baking techniques, to understand the science behind successful baking and to gain valuable skills.

As the holiday season gears up, check out the Recreation Commercial Kitchen line-up for local youth. One-day workshops, micro-sessions and holiday themes fill the schedule with plenty of opportunities for all interested junior bakers and chefs. Registration is available at www.moorestownrec.com or http://www.moorestown.nj.us/253/Parks-Recreation.


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