Classes let kids take over the kitchen


The aroma of apple pies baking and the sounds of enthusiastic young chefs filled the air for the first class of the new Kids Cooking Class offered by Chabad of Chesterfield. Local expert chef Chana’la Rubenfeld is guiding the young chefs from ages 7 through 11 in the art of Jewish cuisine.

The young chefs-in-training are making food, tasting food and then bringing completed dishes home to share with their families. They will be creating many kid friendly favorites including hamantashen, chocolate mousse and apple pie. Yes, apple pie.

“With the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the holiday of trees, just around the corner, apple pie is the perfect Jewish connection,” Rubenfeld said. “Apples grow on trees and happen to be the most popular fruit in the world.”

The recipe Rubenfeld used for the apple pies is near and dear to her heart since it came from her Great-Grandmother.

“It is our family tradition to eat this pie when we break the fast after Yom Kippur,” Rubenfeld said. “It’s also an easy recipe that is great for children to learn and practice how to measure, pour, and roll dough.”

Jewish educators know if “you feed them they will come” and if you let them cook, so much the better. Due to popular demand, there are now two times to choose from for the Thursday evening classes: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Rubenfeld thought of the idea for the cooking class based on the popularity of other cooking experiences she had with kids as well as her own life experience.

“I am the mother of four sons and they all love to cook with me,” Rubenfeld said. “We have always had a great response from the kids who have participated when we have done cooking at our Chabad summer camp and at our YouthZone.”

The cooking classes are being held at Chabad of Chesterfield’s new location at 1639 Clarkson Road at the corner of Baxter and Clarkson roads. It is in the same shopping strip mall with Trader Joe’s. Rubenfeld said they are very happy with their new site.

“The new venue really gives us the opportunity to host a lot more programs with the additional space,” Rubenfeld said. “It is a great, convenient, accessible location with plenty of parking. It is also very neat to have this center of Jewish activity and education in the heart of other shopping.”

Rubenfeld is very excited about mixing Jewish education and cooking. She enjoys cooking for her family and friends and has presented at more than 100 cooking demonstrations. She also knows lessons really stick when food is involved.

“So much of our Jewish tradition and heritage revolves around food,” Rubenfeld said. “Kids love to cook: it’s very hands-on and of course they love to eat. And it is easy to weave Jewish learning into the whole experience.”

Classes for the winter session, which has already begun, will be on February 19 and 26 and March 5 and 12. Classes are $10 each or $45 for a full five-week session. Details about spring session classes will be announced next month. For more information or to sign up for classes call 636-778-4000 or visit

Chana’la Rubenfeld’s Great-Grandmother’s Apple Pie


1 egg

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar dissolved

in 1/8 cup of cold water

1/2 cup oil

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


6 to 8 apples, such as Granny Smith or Cortland (or a mixture of both)

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons all-purpose


2 tablespoons margarine, cut

into chunks

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. First, for the crust, mix all the sugar, 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Then add the oil, vinegar with water and egg. Mix until it forms a smooth dough. Place dough in fridge for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile core and slice the apples into 1/4-inch pieces. Place the apples (about 6 cups) in a large mixing bowl. Next, pour the lemon juice over the apples and add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well.

Now divide the dough into two even pieces. Roll each into two round circles. Then wrap one circle around the rolling pin and unroll it onto your pie pan.

Once you have shaped it to fit the inside of the pan, take a fork and poke holes in the bottom of the crust. This will let the steam out as the pie bakes.

Spoon the spiced apples into the lined pie crust and dot with margarine.

Place the second circle of dough on top of the apples and pinch edges. Brush the top with egg for a glaze.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, and you can see the juices bubbling.

Kids Cooking Class

WHEN: Winter sessions continue at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19 and 26 and March 5 and 12.

WHERE: Chabad of Chesterfield, 1639 Clarkson Road.

COST: $10/session