Once again I am starting the year with simple cooking activities designed to build a sense of community in the classroom. But I've upped the ante. I'm also using these first several weeks to teach some basic skills that students may or may not have. Which skills happen when are in part dependent on food availability and what inspirations I find on the internet.
For this first recipe, I wanted to keep it very simple but make something that would require the use of knives. I thought about seasonable, kid-friendly produce and quickly settled on watermelon. Using my favorite cookbook, Google, I found a recipe for watermelon salad that added lemon juice and mint to the watermelon. Perfect! A little different, but nothing too bizarre for the second week of school. Our school continues to benefit from a federal fresh fruits and veggies grant, so I am able to get my produce for free through the school kitchen, which is sourcing produce locally whenever possible. The watermelon came from Lewis Creek Farm, which is literally a five minute walk from the school.
Like someone anxious about their impending date, I planned the conversation that would kick things off. I've never written down notes before a date, but I did this time! In five minutes we covered why we cook in the classroom and the basics of knife safety. Then everyone got chopping! My favorite food assistant, Su, was on hand to get materials out to kids, collect compost scraps, and do whatever else came up. How lucky are we?
|It warms my heart to see kids lined up waiting to do the dishes!|