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Lewisboro Daily Voice serves Lewisboro, NY

Kids Learn To Wok At Lewisboro Library

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The bright, savory aromas of Chinese cooking wafted through the Lewisboro Library Wednesday afternoon. It’s not a smell normally associated with a library, but renowned cookbook author Norma Chang was on hand to teach her teen cooking program, “Oodles of Noodles.”

“I’m not doing the cooking today, the kids are doing the cooking,” Chang said.

Chang, who has penned the cookbooks “Wokking Your Way to Low-Fat Cooking,” and “My Students Favorite Chinese Recipes,” has been giving cooking seminars such as this to young, aspiring chefs for 15 years. For the Oodles of Noodles teen program, no parents were allowed in the classroom.

“I like the kids to be able to experiment,” she explained. “That’s the way they learn.Wednesday’s class was overbooked. Chang normally limits class size to 15, but 23 showed up to man the woks.

“You can’t turn kids away,” she said. “This age group is very cooperative. I’ve been coming to this library a number of times and it’s always a good group.”

The menu included chicken lo mein, chicken chow mein and chicken and pasta. The kids were divided into three groups and were allowed to sample each other’s dishes.

“It’s a great program; we always get a great crowd,” said teen librarian Dolores Antonetz. “We are always trying to find different ways to get the teens in.”

Food seems to do the trick.

For 10-year-old James Chen, the Oodles of Noodles program was not his first Norma Chang class.

“This is my third one,” said Chen, a student at Lewisboro Elementary. “But the other ones were kids’ classes and all you do is get to eat in those.”

Chen said he likes cooking because it gives him a feeling of empowerment.

“I like the feeling of cooking my own food,” he said. “It makes me feel grown up.”

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