Cooking with Iris at Miike Elementary

One of the most amazing experiences of the first session was going to Miike Elementary School in Omuta for 2 days. I was kind of nervous because I had very little experience with kids. I was especially nervous because the first class we taught was cooking class and we were asked to teach the children how to make a dish from our home countries. So the class was divided in two groups, Andrew would teach one group a Chinese dish and I taught the other group a Dutch dish. I decided to teach them how to make hutspot, a really easy but really Dutch dish to make!

Iris and Brandon teaching the kids


We started by cooking potatoes, carrots, and onions and then we mash them up and ate with sausage. The kids all paid good attention and I was really nervous because I am not the greatest cook and I’ve only made this dish twice in my life. After that, all the kids went to the stations and begin cutting the vegetables and preparing the food. I got to walk around and see the kids making the dishes and it was great to see them really enthusiastic and wanting to make it right.

Andrew from China teaching his dish


In the Netherlands we have a special kitchen utensil that we use to mash the vegetables, but, of course they don’t have that in Japan (at least I don’t think they do?) so they gave me a stick to use which looked a lot like a Taiko drumstick but I am sure it was just a cooking stick. Now the kids were really excited because it was time to mash the vegetables. After that it was now time to eat. I was so glad to see the kids enjoying the hutspot and I even thought it tasted like the one from home! Andrew from China also made a great dish that we really enjoyed.

Iris playing with the kids after eating


The next day, the class gave me a book made of thank you cards, which each kid wrote something nice on and a lot of kids wrote they like the dish and a few of them even said they would make it at their homes, how awesome. It was a really great experience, at first I was a bit scared and insecure but the kids were so welcoming and enthusiastic and they just loved the fact that I was there trying to teach them something. Thank you Miike School for the great experience!

(Iris Spruit from The Netherlands)

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