Library's Kids Cook program expands to 4 sessions

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Kids Cook started in 2016 with one session a month, but that wasn't enough for the young chefs. 

The Cartersville Public Library's cooking program for ages 8 to 12 has grown so much in popularity over the past two years that four sessions have been scheduled for September — the most ever planned for one month.

"It has been such a popular program and one that we can only take a small number of kids at per session," Youth Services Coordinator Thomas Shalin said. "We decided to open it up to offer some extra sessions."

The program — which has taught kids how to make such tasty treats as ice cream in a bag, lemonade, fruit smoothies, strawberry shortcake, homemade pizza rolls, edible cookie dough, mashed potatoes, pumpkin-flavored Rice Krispies treats and banana chocolate chip cookies in the past year — "definitely" ranks as one of the most popular activities the library sponsors, according to Shalin. 

"I think it’s something that has broad appeal," he said. "Everyone likes food, and it’s such a good feeling to make food for yourself and your family. With so many cooking programs on television — and cooking programs featuring kids — I think they have helped kids envision cooking as something they’d like to do and can do."

Sessions will be offered Thursday, Sept. 6, from 3 to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 13, from 3 to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the youth program room at the library at 429 W. Main St.

The young cooks will be tackling a favorite comfort food that many adults wouldn't tackle — pasta made from scratch.

"It was something we haven’t done before at the library," Shalin said. 

Library assistant Will Gaylord will teach the could-be-future chefs how to make the dough and roll it by hand into noodles and then cook them.

Once they've done that, they will reward themselves by eating their homemade pasta, covered in garlic and butter or marinara sauce.

Each session can accommodate 12 cooks and fills up quickly. 

Registration is required and can be done by stopping by the children's desk at the library or calling 770-382-4203.    

For sixth-graders and older, the Teen Chefs program also will be featuring homemade pasta at its session Thursday, Sept. 20, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the youth program room. 

Participants will be mixing up fresh pasta dough and using it to make a classic pasta aglio e olio (garlic and oil).