KINDERHOOK — For the first time in its 13 year history, The Sylvia Center’s expertise in healthy food and cooking education for children and their families, to which the Kinderhook- and New York City-based nonprofit is dedicated, is available to the general public throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. With sites where it normally conducts its sessions closed, The Sylvia Center has gone digital with a summer-long schedule of free virtual learning events designed to engage parents and their kids of all ages kids with informative culinary connected fun. Led by the organization’s professional educators and community chefs, the programming takes the form of two cycles of stand-alone virtual family cooking classes presented live and a dynamic weekly series of daily themed videos, ranging from the preparation of plant based dishes and cooking with youngster to food related DIY activities.

The 60 to 90-minute Virtual Family Cooking Classes are live at 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday through Sept. 2 and Aug. 20, respectively (see schedule at Families are encouraged to work in real time right along with the chef instructor as they prepare dishes like Summer Vegetable Mac n’ Cheese, with Strawberry Lemonade and Beet and Turnip Fritters, Herbed Yogurt Sauce. The recipe(s) for each class is posted on The Sylvia Center’s virtual cooking page a week in advance, so participants can make sure to have all necessary supplies on hand. In addition to teaching how to make deliciously healthful food, the classes explore a wide range of topics, such as the seasonality of ingredients, knife skills and sanitation in the kitchen. Registration for any of the classes is via email to

The video series on The Sylvia Center’s Instagram and (brand new!) YouTube channels, began July 13 and finish on Aug. 17. Every video is a complete independent experience and new content for each day’s theme will be posted at noon that day. The daily themes follow:

Monday, all ages: Fresh Seasonal Recipe Demos focused on plant-based recipes using fresh, seasonal whole ingredients, while practicing basic culinary techniques.

Tuesday, all ages (elementary and middle school students strongly encouraged): Recipes from The Sylvia Center’s Cooks for Health: Pancake Passport Series - explores the wide world of pancakes, a popular staple in many cultures across the globe.

Wednesday, families, pre-k and elementary: Lessons, Stories & Activities from The Sylvia Center’s Full Plate on the Farm Series - garden-based, sustainable DIY activities and story time brought to you by Farm-based Program Manager Nicole from The Sylvia Center at Kinderhook’s Katchkie Farm.

Thursday, families, pre-k, elementary: Recipes & Activities from our Full Plate in the Classroom Series - hands-on lessons with children teaching basic culinary techniques and the fundamentals of building a healthy plate.

Friday, all ages: Fresh Seasonal Recipe Demos: see Monday.

For those living near either Kinderhook or Philmont, there are farm fresh ingredient kit options associated with the Virtual Family Cooking Classes.* For each of the Wednesday evening classes, a recipe kit with all the locally sourced ingredients needed for that week’s recipe can be preordered at least a week in advance, and picked up on the day before the class, Tuesday, at Katchkie Farm, 745 Fischer Road Ext., Kinderhook between 4::30 and 5:30 p.m. A $12 donation is suggested.

For the Thursday classes, the Philmont Cooperative offers a complete meal kit brimming with all the ingredients for the evening’s class and more to make a mouthwatering seasonally driven dinner for four. The cost is $12, which translates to up to 90 minutes of edifying family fun activity and dinner for four for only $12, a rather extraordinary bargain. Again., preordering a week in advance is necessary, with pick-up on Thursdays, the day of the class, from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Philmont Food Cooperative, 116 Main St., Philmont.

To participate in any of The Sylvia Center’s Wednesday and Thursday evening free, live and stand-alone Virtual Family Cooking Classes, (and to pre-order the associated kits) contact Theresa Morelli at A link will be sent to you to attend the class(es) of your choice. There is no registration for Sylvia Center’s weekly series of daily themed videos, which are posted at noon Monday through Friday on the organization’s Instagram and YouTube channels for at convenience viewing.

For additional information about any of The Sylvia’s Summer 2020 Program Schedule, visit or contact *The kits are completely optional. Anyone can participate in the classes for free on the device of their choice in their kitchen or elsewhere.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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