The Saratoga Sun -

A dash of this, a pinch of that

BOCES, PVCC now hosting monthly cooking club


Joshua Wood

Joe Elder and Jen Hartigan work on a dish together.

The Platte Valley Community Center (PVCC) and the Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) have started a joint venture for those wishing to exercise their culinary abilities, learn some new dishes or teach recipes to other people. On March 1, the initial Cooking Club took place in the PVCC kitchen as attendees tried their hand at Mexican cuisine.

On the menu for the night was guacamole, pico de gallo, chile rellenos, brick red mole, beef enchiladas, crockpot refried beans, pork butt and mexican quinoa salad.

With approximately 13 people taking part, the limit is 20, small groups quickly delved into making one of the dishes on the menu. Some of the menu items, such as the guacamole, appeared to be less time intensive than others, such as the chile rellenos or the brick red mole. 

That didn't stop people from having fun, however, as friends caught up with each other or people established new friendships. Moving around the kitchen with ease were BOCES Director Brekke Munks and PVCC Director Joe Elder, who would check on different groups and equip them with the different kitchen utensils needed.

What eventually started out as groups of people working on separate dishes eventually became a collaborative process. When one group was done with their dish, they would chip in where they could to help another group. Such was the case when preparing the chile rellenos, simmering the mole or keeping an eye on the enchiladas.

Joshua Wood

Jessica Lane is all smiles as she gets to work.

About two-and-a-half hours after preparation began, the majority of the dishes were completed and ready to eat. After putting in plenty of work on prepping the food, it was time for the cooks to taste the fruits of their labor in the Great Hall.

It seemed as if the first Cooking Club was a success, especially as Munks plotted out what dishes would be prepared for the next nine months of the year. While this particular session was self-guided, Munks said she'd like to see other sessions that were more guided to allow people a chance to work together on new culinary adventures.

In April, the Cooking Club will be making some Asian cuisine including orange chicken and green tea ice cream. Other upcoming cooking club menus will focus on Indian food, working with an Insta Pot and creating different appetizers.

To find out more about the Cooking Club, people can contact Munks at 307-326-5271 or Elder at 307-326-7822.


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