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Friday, March 16, 2018

Wyoming’s Newest Craze: Stir the Pot

Two girls stood at the stove sharing funny stories from their day as they sautéed onions for the baked ziti they were making. These eighth graders were students at Stir the Pot, the brainchild of Peggy Izenson, a long-time Wyoming resident. 

Peggy recently created Stir the Pot to teach kids to cook. But she sees it as much more than a cooking class because the students take home all the food they make, enough to feed four to six people.
As the mother of four, Peggy’s been making dinner for her family for well-over 20 years, so she understands the challenges it presents every night. “I believe it’s an important time to reconnect but it’s a hard when everyone’s so busy,” she said.

At Stir the Pot students learn a life-long skill but also gain satisfaction in knowing their effort made a difference. “I’m old fashioned. I think families benefit when everyone pitches in and cooking is a great way for kids to contribute,” said Peggy. One young cook invites her grandparents to dinner the night after class so she can feed them the food she made.

Classes are after school or on the weekend in Peggy’s kitchen. Students make a wide variety of meals which can be tailored to their tastes. One afternoon they made soup then walked around Wyoming delivering it to people as a random act of kindness.

There have been students of varied ages, but it’s most appealing to older primary or middle school students. Classes, limited to four, are designed to be laid-back and personal. Mikey Robbins, an aspiring Chopped Junior chef, asked Peggy what would happen if he messed up. She explained to him, “It’s not always a home-run but hopefully cooking is fun.” She wants them to feel as proud of what they make as she is.

The feedback has been encouraging. A positive side effect she’s noticed is how well people work together. Whether the cooks know each other or not doesn’t matter. They come together in the kitchen and work as a team.  

Mikey reported that the worst part of the class was when he had to go home. That’s exactly the sentiment Peggy hopes for at Stir the Pot.

For more information follow Stir the Pot on Facebook or contact Peggy at

Annabelle and Lucianna loved their experience at Stir the Pot.

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