For our Week 6 cooking class, we thought we were making spaghetti and meat sauce — but first we had to master breaking and entering!!

When we arrived for class, we found the kitchen locked up tight: all the doors from the gym, the one from the entrance off the lobby, even the one from outside. Once again, Mr. Laver came to the rescue. He didn’t have a key, but with the help of Mr. Angert the gym teacher, they managed to remove a window from one of the doors and boost chef Dariel Cordero in through the narrow space. Dariel quickly got one of the doors open and we were in business.

With that unusual start, our chefs were pretty excited to get started on the meat sauce. Our chop master Dariel found a sharp knife and got busy dicing the onions. Magavi Cortes and Jamal Gill got the water boiling for spaghetti and carefully placed the sausages in our sauté pan to brown. Yandel Vazquez was eager to put the spaghetti into the pot and was frustrated how long it was taking to boil on our new hot plate.

“A watched pot never boils,” we advised, teaching everyone an old saying that was new to their ears. When the sausages had browned, Magavi and Jamal moved them to a cutting board to cool, while Madeline Rookwood took over the sauté pan to cook the onions until they were “translucent.”

After the water finally boiled — and it DID take a long time on our little hot plate — everyone took turns portioning dry spaghetti into the water and watching how quickly it softened up. Yandel, meanwhile, got the can of tomatoes open and led the way pouring them and the chicken stock over the onions. Then it was time to slice the sausages.

Though everyone has developed great cutting skills, they were interested to learn how to cut something “on the bias,” and each wanted to take a turn practicing the angled cuts. Then it was everything into the sauté pan to bring the meat sauce to a simmer and add the spaghetti. As it turned out, that was one of the more entertaining tasks of the meal, with Jamal and Yandel showing everyone how to wrangle wiggly spaghetti with the tongs. That skill would come in handy when we brought the meal to the table and let our chefs serve themselves.

“It smells delicious,” Maddie said. “It smells like perfection!” Jamal added. It tasted good, too, judging from our chefs’ reactions. “Can I have some more?” Magavi asked. “I want some more, too,” Yandel said. It was a pretty good way to end a lockout.