You know you've finally become a grown-up when you start thinking that year-round schools with uniforms sound pretty good. Summer vacations are what kids live for but they can be a real nightmare for the working parents who are forced to choose between forking out serious cash for sleep-away camps or letting their kids "self-supervise." In case you don't remember or were never lucky enough to "self-supervise," this is an educational program that involves older neighborhood kids teaching your kids how to find, peruse and replace Dad's Penthouse collection without detection, how to suck all the nitrous oxide out of a can of whipped cream and how to best torture siblings while leaving a minimum of bruising.
Yes, Mom and Dad, it's best to keep those kids busy for as much of the summer as possible. Sports camps are good—if you have a well-coordinated kid who thinks fainting from heatstroke is a fun way to spend the day. Art camps can keep those little fingers occupied, but do you really want to put ideas of art school in your child's head? Too bad there's no mid-level bureaucracy management camp to prepare our youth for real futures.
Why not consider a spate of cooking classes? Cooking is both an art and a useful vocation. Should little Robert decide that semiotics are frightfully dull after all (three years at Brown down the tubes!) he can always fall back on his early training in the kitchen. There are a number of places around town where little Amanda can learn to fold an omelet (the Harwood offered classes earlier this spring) but I found only two with programs of any length just for kids.
Kelly Burton of Jennifer James and Graze (Central and Bryn Mawr) has a dozen years of cooking experience and has spent six years as a culinary school instructor. This June she'll be leading three four-day sessions for kids seven and older. The budding chefs will learn about all aspects of the restaurant business, in addition to doing the actual cooking. From 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. the kids will be immersed in the restaurant, helping to cook their own lunches and some take-home goodies too. The cost is $300 for kids seven to 13 and $400 for kids 14 and older. Call 268-4729 to reserve a spot.
Now We're Cooking, a cookware store near Whole Foods at Wyoming and Montgomery, has a regular schedule of cooking classes that are held in its small kitchen. Kathy Hazelbaker, a chef and instructor for Albuquerque Public Schools, teaches a series of hands-on classes for kids ages seven to 14. Campers learn how to use knives safely, handle delicate foods with care and help to prepare several dishes. Four sessions, each of three two-hour classes, are held throughout the month of June. The cost is $75 per child. Call 857-9625 to book.