Rockmart Farmers Market cooking class - February 2018

Local youth get closer to graduating into fully-fledged child chefs. (Sean Williams/SJ)

As the Rockmart Farmers Market’s six-week cooking course presses on, local youth are only getting closer to graduating into fully-fledged child chefs.

Lesson four of the six-week course saw the class curb the cool weather with heaping bowls of chicken and dumplings.

“There is nothing better than a hot bowl of chicken and dumplings on a cold day,” Farmers Market Executive Director Shonna Kirkpatrick said. “For many of us, this is another meal our mothers or grandmother would prepare, but not something we would make ourselves. Throughout the course of these classes, I believe we can notice a trend that most of our recipes are things that have been enjoyed for hundreds of years. It is just recently in today’s society that we have put homemade meals on the back burner.”

As always, many used ingredients were acquired at the farmers market. Kirkpatrick’s special recipe calls for 2 cups of self-rising flour, ½ cup of oil, 1 cup of milk, a pinch of salt, various chopped herbs, seasoning, and a whole chicken.

The chicken broth calls for 1 stalk of celery, numerous carrots, an onion, and two garlic cloves.

Class attendee’s accomplished different tasks such as cutting the vegetables, cutting the chicken, warming up the oil, or combining ingredients, and the group was well on the way to eating their meal.

“Chicken soup isn’t just food for the soul,” Kirkpatrick said. “There’s a reason that it’s prescribed by doctors and mothers alike when you’re feeling under the weather. All bone broths- beef, chicken, fish, lamb, and more- are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and the basis of all fine cuisine. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, and rich in flavor and they boost healing.”

Cooking the dish involved dividing the chicken and covering the pieces in a pot with four quarts of water. Vegetables, salt, and seasonings were added before cooking for one hour.

The Feb. 13 class was one of many cooking classes are held inside the Silver Comet Trailhead’s community kitchen on Rockmart’s Church Street.

Sign-ups for the current six-week course are full, but updates on future courses can be found at

Those interested in seeing where the class gets their ingredients can visit the various farmers at the Rockmart Farmers Market from 2 through 6 p.m. every Thursday on Rockmart’s Water Street.