A dozen students with 24 packages of cooked ramen noodles and a variety of other ingredients took part in their own version of the “Iron Chef” cooking shows Thursday afternoon in the Teen Spot. Great Bend Public Library’s Teen Librarian Ashley Carrasco challenged them to use their imaginations and come up with a tasty entree and a dessert — using noodles in both.
For this activity, teens worked in pairs. Two girls filled a plate with noodles and a flavor pack and then selected a fresh lemon, jalapeño pepper, canned chicken and chicken broth, cayenne pepper, celery and carrots.
They also considered the dessert recipe, which might include candy-coated chocolate, marshmallows and icing. When Carrasco handed out sticky notes so they could name their creations, Israel Smith picked up a cell phone and began to search “Google translate” so he could give his “gourmet food” a French name. His cooking partner, Javan Stoney, continued to put the final touches on a second plate.
Sisters Haley Klein and Katana Schwedes covered a plate of noodles with candies and named their creation “Sugar Rush.”
Joe Andrulis said his goal was to only use fresh ingredients in his dish. “I try to make my meals as healthy as I can,” he said.
There were no prizes to win, but the students were invited to sample as many of the dishes as they dared.
“It’s so sweet it doesn’t even taste like ramen noodles,” said CJ Gibson, as she sampled one dish.
“That looks ... disgusting!” Xanna Smith said as another eclectic creation came together.
Meanwhile, Sienna Cauley heated some oil on an electric griddle that Carrasco said had recently been donated to the Teen Spot. Cauley’s cooking partner Gaby Reyes began a search for a knife that wasn’t being used.
Cauley had already finished a pretty — if inedible — dessert of pasta and cherry icing she named “Exotic Magenta.”
“Ramen Noodle Iron Chef” was just the latest wacky activity offered at the Teen Spot for students in grades 6-12. Activities are from 4-5 p.m. most Thursdays. Usually, 20 or more teens attend, Carrasco said. During the month of January, they had over 110 participants.
“So far the most popular one has been the ‘Escape Room’ activity we did last week,” she said. “There were over 30 teens here.”
For that activity, teens had to work together to solve the riddle and escape the undead. It’s true that no one got out of the Escape Room alive, Carrasco said.
“Everyone turned into zombies! They needed more steps to get out but they ran out of time.”
Activities that create a mess are always popular. In addition to the ramen noodle project, one recent activity involved decorating cupcakes while blindfolded.
“It’s all about having fun,” Carrasco said.
Upcoming library activities include:
Feb. 23 - 3D Printer Class, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Kansas Room (for teens and adults)
Feb. 26 - Game Day at the Library, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Children’s Department (all ages)
March 1 - Food Build Day, 4-5 p.m., Teen Spot; Suessabration, (Dr. Suess’ birthday party), 6:30-8 p.m., Children’s Department
March 4-9 - Teen Tech Week, different activities from 4-5 p.m. daily, Teen Spot
March 15 - Teen Spa Day, 4-5 p.m., Teen Spot
March 22 - Pop Tab Bracelets, 4-5 p.m., Teen Spot
March 29 - Paint Day, 4-5 p.m., Teen Spot (preregistration required at the library)