Students and Staff Enjoy Time Spent in the Kitchen

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Submitted by Jamie Haywood

Getting creative in the kitchen can lead to fun holiday traditions for families.

Katie Feeback, Staff Reporter

A sweet smell wafts through the room. Each second the anticipation builds higher and higher. The slow opening of the oven and the scent escapes. A baker looks inside and sees the result of her hard work. An hour of preparation and mixing led up to this. The product looks delicious and she cannot wait to sink their teeth into it, and the time spent in the kitchen was enjoyable as well.

For many, baking and cooking are ways to relieve stress. The time taken to organize the ingredients experiment with flavors, and as a result, end up with a sweet treat is something that is commonly enjoyed.

Baking and cooking can come from a piqued interest in making food, or simply, just a way to help out. Leslie Murphy, a Great Crossing High School English teacher, began preparing meals out of necessity.  Murphy said, “When my mom got a second shift job when I was a junior in high school, I started to do more cooking for meals.”

While cooking can help a family, it can be used as a way to connect and bond with others.  Many people said that they enjoy cooking with their kids. Assistant principal Jamie Haywood explained, “I like to cook with my kids. They like to be in the kitchen with me, and I have a lot of memories with my mom there.” 

Spencer also acknowledged that working in the kitchen can strengthen family relationships.  Spencer said, “I love to bake with my mom and grandma because they are the ones that taught me how to bake! Everything I know, I learned from them.”

Holiday foods can encourage excitement for the holiday as well as new family traditions. During Halloween, spooky dinners and snacks are very popular. Mrs. Haywood creates a Halloween-themed dinner. “The Halloween meal has grown into a crazy thing. I tried to find fun breakfast things in the beginning, and about four years ago I decided to do a Halloween dinner. Now, the kids expect it to be a big, elaborate thing. So, I have kind of dug myself a hole. But it’s been fun!” said Haywood. 

I like to cook with my kids. They like to be in the kitchen with me, and I have a lot of memories with my mom there.”

— Jamie Haywood, assistant principal

For some, baking is much preferable to cooking. A junior at Great Crossing High School, Bella Spencer said, “I’ve always preferred baking to cooking. I think it’s because I am more of a sweets person and I’ve always enjoyed brownies and cookies, stuff like that.” 

Murphy is also one that prefers to bake.  She stated, “I make a lot of muffins, cookies, and last year during COVID, my daughter and I made some hot cocoa bombs.”

On the other hand, Lauren Feeback, the Great Crossing High School librarian stated, “I prefer cooking to baking because I enjoy making the entire meal.”

Decorating is also very popular with those interested in baking since it lets creativity thrive. “Even more than actually cooking the food, I enjoy creating the presentation of it all,” said Feeback.