Teaching a new generation

fresh pasta

Friday night I taught a group of kids, 6th -8th graders, how to make pasta from scratch. It’s one of my joys in life as I have mentioned in my musings here in the past. Like many other classes in the past my eldest son Jake, now eighteen, assisted me. I can’t express the joy this brings to me as we work together, showing kids how pasta is made. Jake knows everything I know because we learned together. We might not always get along but we do work well in a class setting and have a ton of fun while doing so.

jake helping

I usually use the bowl method rather than the counter method when teaching homemade pasta making because the chance for a huge mess is great and I don’t want the feelings of failure to come about. I always tell my class participants about putting the flour on the counter, adding some salt and making the well in the center for the eggs but then demonstrate in the bowl. This past Friday Jake wanted me to show the kids how to do it on the counter and so we did both methods. Jake took over the counter method with me showing the bowl method. What fun! It all worked out well and we had some great pasta dough in the end to work with and the kids were very proud.

One thing I didn’t mention is this class was filled with six girls and one boy. The one boy was quiet and I was glad Jake was there to assist me so he wouldn’t feel so alone. I was sure this little guy was bored but at the end when I had a few moments to ask him his thoughts on the class, his eyes lit up and he smiled big. He said it was fun and he learned a lot. I asked him what he wanted to do when he graduated high school and he said “be a chef”. So here, all along I’m thinking the poor kid isn’t having fun but in reality he is truly enjoying himself in his own quiet way, soaking in all the events taking place around him.

I am learning to be comfortable with introverts in my classes, which is saying a lot since I am so extroverted. Jake told me this kid really got into the dough process when he gave him a big chunk to mess with and then showed him how to make cavatelli. All the girls wanted to learn how to make them too. It’s really funny how these classes work out in the end. I’ve been hoping some teens and pre-teens would sign up and now they have and it was so much fun, even if the girls were noisy and silly. Oh did I mention of the six, there were two sets of twins? Kind of makes me laugh.

Next up for classes are couples making Italian food the next two Saturdays and again Jake will help me. He is as extroverted as I am so he will be able to help fill in the down time and quiet moments with stories that will most likely embarrass me.