March 28, 2020 Achievements

Perry Creek student makes culinary creations while at home during COVID-19 school closures

Perry Creek Elementary third-grader, Alex Hexom, shows off the creamy parmesan chicken he made for his family

For Alex Hexom, the key to making Creamy Chicken Parmesan is to follow the recipe like a scholar, to enjoy the finished product like a gourmand and, to not be afraid of dirtying a whole lot of pots and pans.

“You spend time by putting this pot on the stove and taking this pot off,” the 9-year-old said. “There’s a bunch of steps you have to do in order to make dinner.”

Indeed, Alex has a new appreciation for what his mom Shelley does at dinnertime for himself, his 7-year-old sister Madeline and and dad Fred.

“Cooking isn’t just throwing things in a pot,” he said. “It’s hard work.”

Alex has been doing more of the cooking in the Hexom household ever since classes were cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s important to have kids stay occupied while they’re at home,” Shelley Hexom said. “Madeline is keeping up with her dance lessons. And Alex? Well, he loves to cook.”

To be fair, Alex’s culinary interest began long before coronavirus.

The Perry Creek Elementary School third-grader began helping out in the kitchen when his family began subscribing to HelloFresh, a meal kit delivery service that sends ingredients and dinner recipes to households on a regular basis.

“When Alex was eight, I’d give him chores to do at dinnertime,” Shelley said. “As he got more confident, I gave Alex more responsibilities.”

Since then, Alex has mastered many recipes involving chicken and pasta dishes. In addition, he’s making meals without using recipes.

So far, he has made cheeseburgers for the family as well as French toast.’

“It took Alex a few tries.” Shelley admitted, “but his French toast skills have greatly improved.”

“I like dipping stuff into stuff,” Alex said. “That’s why French toast is currently my favorite thing to make.”

However, cooking is just one of the many things he excells in.

A gifted student, Alex loves math and science class. A talented athlete, he enjoys playing basketball and football with his friends.

View the full article by Earl Horlyk on the Sioux City Journal.