But the puns she picked up with her married name don’t stop there. As the head cooking instructor at Kitchen Kneads, 3030 Grant Ave., Ogden, she often advises students to have fun with their food.
“I always tell them to let their inner child out,” she said. “They are the ones who get to explore and play.”
The Kitchen Kneads website lists classes at least weekly for chefs of all skill-levels — most often on Saturdays — in the main area of the store. Many of the classes feature Child’s instruction.
Child’s own style and skills come from her early childhood experiences in the kitchen, where she found the signature playful improvisation she teaches to students. As one of eight children in her family, she started by making bread at home at age 9. Her parents, Bruce and Carla Crane, opened Kitchen Kneads in 1973.
“In junior high home economics, I knew more than the teacher,” Child said. “I did not get good grades because of it.”
She taught her first class at her parent’s store — bread making — when she was just 16.
“People would look at me like ‘You don’t know what you are talking about,’” she said. “I would surprise them.”
The family’s business is rooted in her father’s lifelong battle with various health issues.
“As an infant, the doctors sent (my dad) home to die,” Child said. “I don’t think they could fully diagnose him. … He was always sick his entire life.”
As a result, her grandmother worked to keep her father functioning through healthy eating, and later Child’s mother and father studied nutrition extensively.
“Eating good foods has kept him going all these years,” Child said of her father, who now is 71 and has survived two forms of cancer, among other ailments.
BREAKING DOWN BREAD MAKING
Child offers one-on-one classes to help those who struggle most with bread making.
She said nutrition questions are also common and concern over what people are eating is a big reason why they take classes at Kitchen Kneads.
With homemade bread, people know what’s in it, she said.
CINDY’S TIPS FOR BREAD MAKERS
Q: The No. 1 question students ask Child is why bread comes out heavy and/or dry.
A: The answer, Child said, is adding too much flour.
Q: The No. 2 most common question: Why does dough have streaks or spots?
A: Not kneading the dough enough — “You have to stabilize it,” she said.
Some people want to know about gluten-free foods.
“Gluten allergies worsen over each generation,” she said. She blamed overly processed foods for creating the allergies in the first place and she encourages cooks to leave out processed flours.
While the store offers many different kinds of cooking classes, bread making is the most popular attraction, Child said. It’s a perfect symbol of her family’s inspiration for the store, and her love of passing down the fun of cooking.
“A recipe is not a contract,” she said. “It’s just a guideline.”
Child said she loves to switch up recipes all the time.
One of her favorite changes is when a recipe calls for cinnamon.
“You can also use blends,” she said. “You can use apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice. ... It gives it a different flavor.”
Giving a homemade meal its own special twist is all part of the magic.
“I tell my class, I never follow a recipe exactly. It’s always changed.”