We Tried: Thyme to Cook with Your Kids Virtual Cooking Class – HONOLULU Magazine | Directory Mayhem

Updated July 1, 2021: Thyme to Cook is no longer in business.

Success! A 4-year legal bread. Photo: Laura Dornbusch

What: Thyme to Cook, a family-friendly live cooking class on Zoom

who: A foodie mom and her messy but enthusiastic 4-year-old son

Where: Our condo kitchen

When: Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m

Finding new and engaging activities to keep my 4 year old son Duke entertained at home over the past year has been quite a challenge. And honestly, I’m just tired and out of ideas. So virtual classes have been a lifeline for us during the pandemic. We log into Zoom and I’ll hand over the reins to someone else for a while. You name it, we’ve tried it: virtual MyGym, Sunday school, story time.

We’ve also been busy participating in the baking craze. We’ve made Bavarian pretzels, cinnamon rolls, and pizza dough to name a few. Yes, having a preschooler in the kitchen can be scary. I’m not sure which fear is greater: the sharp knives in your arms or the inevitable mess that needs to be cleaned up afterwards. Despite all of that, it’s worth it that Duke is passionate about cooking and baking (which is my passion).


See also: 🧁 What it’s really like to be a baker (and parent of a baker) at the Kids Baking Championship


So I signed up for a Thyme to Cook With Your Kids virtual cooking class. The company was started by Maui’s mother and former elementary school teacher Me-Shell Mijangos during the pandemic to encourage families to get into the kitchen with their kids. The recipes are healthy and kid-friendly, but upscale, such as B. tasty pot stickers, pumpkin walnut sage ravioli and rustic apple caramel galette.

While you can take an individual course, Thyme to Cook With Your Kids is designed as a subscription program. A monthly membership gives you access to two live courses each month, as well as access to previously recorded courses. The bi-monthly courses have grown into a community of sorts where keiki from Hawai’i and the mainland have come to know each other. There’s even a private Facebook group where members encourage each other, share recipes, and post photos of their end products.

We received our recipe and instructions in advance, so I was able to prep and measure out all the ingredients before the class started. This week’s recipe was Vegan Banana Bread with guest chef Tabay Atkins, a 15-year-old vegan chef and yoga teacher. I was both excited that Duke was able to connect with a teenage chef and relieved that this week’s recipe was actually something my picky eater would try.

Thyme for Cooking Asking Questions Photo Laura Dornbush

A live workshop allows you to ask questions (or put your skills to the test). Photo: Laura Dornbusch

Armored in my apron and Duke on a step stool, we joined Zoom and were warmly welcomed by host Me-Shell; chef Tabay and his mother Sahel; and four other classmates. After the welcome and a short introduction, we followed chef Tabay step by step in the preparation of the banana bread. No surprise, Duke’s favorite move was mashing the bananas. He even raised his hand to show off his superb mashing skills to the rest of the class. But Duke was impatient: instead of waiting for directions, he worked ahead of the group, pouring and mixing whatever ingredients we had on our counter.

Tabay explained how flaxseed, an ingredient new to many families, can replace eggs in baked goods. In the zoom gallery view we could see a girl and her mother with panicked faces: They didn’t have any flax seeds! Tabay calmly guided them through possible substitutes, and the whole class cheered when the mother found chia seeds in the back of her closet. The sense of community and teamwork could be felt through the screen.

Thyme for cooking Plastic wrap Computer photo Laura Dornbush

Tip for parents: protect your keyboard with plastic wrap. Photo: Laura Dornbusch

The lessons were truly interactive, with each classmate being ‘highlighted’ to show their progress or ask a question. When it was Duke’s turn, he was a bit shy but managed to show his bat and ask, “Did I do it right?” Most of the other classmates were girls between the ages of 8 and 10; They seemed to have a passion for cooking and took the lessons very seriously.

Chef Tabay encouraged us to personalize our banana bread with ingredients like cinnamon or jam. With everyone’s bread in the oven, he shared how his mother’s cancer diagnosis inspired him to become a vegan, how he developed his banana bread recipe while living on Maui, and his forthcoming cookbook. Duke switched off during the chat and played with his Paw Patrol toys.

Thyme for Cooking Duke Waiting Photo Laura Dornbush

The hardest part is waiting. Photo: Laura Dornbusch

Of course, the hardest part of the class was waiting for the banana bread to finish! Our apartment filled with the most delicious aroma. Chef Tabay had taught us the “toothpick test”: stick a toothpick in the bread and when it comes out clean, you know it’s done. After two toothpick tests, ours was finally done. But then we had to let it cool down, which is extremely difficult for a 4-year-old. Pooh! Finally the sweet reward for all our work was ready. Duke and I both quickly scooped down a slice of banana bread. He was so proud and couldn’t wait to share a piece with his grandmother and father too!

Our 5 tips

  1. Set for success. Create peace of mind in the kitchen by having all supplies and tools ready before class begins. It is also beneficial to pre-measure the ingredients and print out the recipe on paper.
  2. Saran is a savior. In a nod to the dentist’s office, I covered my computer keyboard and mouse with plastic wrap because you never know where the mess can end up.
  3. P stands for patience. There will be a learning curve, especially if you are new to cooking with your kids. Make it fun and not too serious. Remember, it’s about bonding with your child.
  4. safety first. Teach kids about sharp things, hot things, and other potentially dangerous things in the kitchen. I felt so bad when Duke got a small burn on his wrist during the toothpick test, but he’s fine!
  5. Teamwork makes the dream come true. Involve your keiki in the clean-up process, including washing dishes, returning tools to their proper places, and stowing ingredients in the closet. These are vital skills to learn!

Thyme to Cook With Your Kids offers one-on-one tuition ($29), monthly memberships ($39/month), and access to the video vault of recorded classes ($19/month). Live classes via Zoom are held at 2:30pm HST on the first and third Wednesday of each month and typically last one hour. thymetocookwithyourkids.com

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