Goshen Teens Learning Cooking Skills At Club

Five boys at stove adding onions to pot

There’s nothing like the smell of a meal cooking on the stove. Teens at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County’s Goshen Clubhouse are the ones doing the cooking on Friday nights.

The kitchen at the Club is bustling with activity as the teens get their ingredients and utensils prepared for the meal.  The idea for the cooking class was prompted by the kids themselves — and their appetites.

Close up of dinner plate with food Girl slicing chicken Two boys chopping chicken Boy stirring pot Two boys adding ingredients to pot Boy cooking at stove

“Because they’re constantly wanting to eat, I thought I’d teach them how to make their own food,” said Goshen Teen Program Coordinator Amber Stoneburner.

She tries to make the Friday sessions fun and educational. The teens are learning how to read recipes, follow directions and work as a team. The meals also expose them to different cultures with the “Meals Around The World” theme.

“We go around the world so they get to be introduced to different tastes,” Stoneburner said. “They have to follow directions and learn the importance of doing things in order.”

This particular night, they were doing a dish with an Indian flair. Butter chicken features a spicy, buttery and tomato gravy. Each teen had a different responsibility. Some prepared the chicken, some worked to prepare the rice and others worked on prepping ingredients for the sauce.

“The hardest part of this was cutting the onions,” said Club member David.

Stoneburner said she tries to pick recipes that are easy enough to do as a group, but can also be used at home.

“I want them to be able to make it for their family. We want them to be flavorful and they are proud to cook it,” she said.

“Now I can cook this anytime I want. I might try to do this at home,” said Club member Beverly.

Other teens said they enjoy the process — and sampling the end result.

“I like that we get to eat the food we make,” said Club member Yandel.