Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2020

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n March 2020 ily thing," Anderson said. "Instead of, 'Alright, I guess I have to make something for dinner,' now we go through cookbooks together, get ideas, make alterations where we need to, and really make it an expe- rience." Cook together for fun and save time. Although finding time to prepare meals can be a challege - Anderson is a single mom, and Avi has no shortage of activities that she's constantly running to and from - having Avi's help in the kitchen has made cooking less of a burden for Anderson. "She loves to chop, she likes adding the spices By ELORA TOCCI L ike many nine-year-olds, Avi Woerner of Port Ewen could happily live off macaroni and cheese, along with pizza. So, her mom, Erin Anderson, wasn't sure what would happen when she brought Avi to a cooking class at Nirmala's Kitchen & Farm- stead, a spice company and farm in Highland with a cooking school for people of all ages. "Avi's very head- strong, and she never really liked trying new things when it came to food," said Anderson. But once she got to the class and Nirmala put her to work, Avi engaged with the food. "She was trying new spices, trying olives, things she normally would never eat," Anderson said. "We made a Moroccan spiced chicken, which had lots of new flavors for her, and a little bit of heat. By the end of the class she'd eaten two whole chick- en breasts and loved it. I couldn't believe it." Once they got home, the cook- ing bug that Avi caught proved to last. She started looking through cookbooks, picking out recipes that looked interesting and asking her mom if they could try them. "I had never been much of a cook myself, so Avi really started pushing me to be more adventurous in the kitchen," Anderson said. Before, mealtimes had become a standard routine; another box to be checked off in a long list of tasks that had to get done each day. "Now, cooking has become much more of a fam- and mixing things together. She really gets involved in every part of the process," Anderson said. Cooking together has also helped both of them eat healthier, focus more on using whole foods and eat balanced meals. Avi's favorite meal to make is a fettuccine alfredo with chicken, with a cheese sauce made fresh from scratch rather than from a can. The mother-daughter duo also enjoys rolling with the changing seasons and customizing their meals to match the mood of the day. "Once springtime hits, we start barbecuing a lot more, spending Families spring forward in the kitchen Generations share recipes and cook together The Anderson family from Port Ewen has fun cooking together, especially during the holi- days, including, from the left, friend, Beverly, Anderson's mom, Liz, Erin Anderson, and her daughter, Avi Woerner.

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