By JUDY SHERARD
The old adage is wrong.
There were seven cooks in the kitchen Thursday evening at Hays Public Library, and the broth -- or green bean dumpling soup -- was delicious.
Six people signed up for the Volga-German cooking class taught by Kansas Room Librarian Luci Bain.
It was the second class in the cooking series; the first was bierocks.
"As Kansas Room librarian, it's kind of my job to do programs about Kansas and this area, so I couldn't just do anything," she said. "And I think there's a large interest in learning those Volga-German things, especially around here. I mean, who wouldn't want to learn to make a bierocks instead of waiting once a year for Oktoberfest?"
Bain said she loves to cook, and the green bean dumpling soup is a regional favorite, so it seemed a good lead-in to Oktoberfest.
The cool rainy evening made it a perfect night for soup.
Shirley Pfeifer grew up watching her mother make the soup by simmering the broth, and using rich cream and butter. Pfeifer has even made the soup herself.
"I want to see how they make it. I'm sure it's different how they make it today," she said.
Bain said the broth for the soup would come from a box, milk would take the place of cream, and her recipe came from the Internet.
"I wanted more direction than what some of the old recipes gave me," she said.
None of the other cooking class students had made the soup before the lesson, though all had tasted it.
"I had my first green bean dumpling soup not long ago, and it was great," Janna Montgomery said.
"I've always enjoyed it, and I wanted to learn how" to make it, Suzie Bleumer said. "I like to cook at home. We have two little boys at home, so we're always cooking."
When it was time to cook, Richard and Michelle Inman prepared the fresh green beans.
Richard is the cook in their family.
"I got blessed when I married him," Michelle Inman said. "I can cook certain things, but not a lot of things."
While the Inmans snapped the beans, Pfeifer and Bleumer cubed the potatoes, and Montgomery chopped an onion.
The cooking class students, which also included Vicky Cowen, took turns at the stove as the two pots of soup cooked.
"This is a lot of fun," Bleumer said.
After the group sampled the finished product, Bain ladled the soup into containers for the students to take home.