Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Worldly Celebration

I was panicked when the phone rang at ten of six yesterday morning. A school cancellation would have been disastrous. I had about $40 worth of groceries waiting to be cooked and eaten as a holiday celebration in my class. Luckily, the call was for my husband and children in a neighboring district. I tiptoed out of the house, relieved that I could wrap up the week as planned and that I wouldn't have to make up this day in June.

We spent an hour and a half in the morning cooking an internationally themed meal. We haven't quite finished the human body systems unit yet, but in mid-January we'll turn our focus to world geography.

Kids selected which recipe they wanted to prepare and worked with three fantastic parent volunteers, preparing egg roll, a taco pie, and tiramisu. They also peeled potatoes which I dunked in a bowl of water until it was time to peel and shred them for latkes. Music played, everything went smoothly -- we even stayed on top of the dishes during the lag times in each recipe's preparation!

Now this is how you mash beans!
Shredding cabbage (above) and rolling egg roll (several pictures below).

Tiramisu means...
separating eggs
cooking a (zabalone) custard

layering coffee-soaked ladyfingers
and whipping cream the old fashioned way.
Ta dah!
After lunch, the kids settled in watching Cupcake Wars while volunteers met me in the back of the room to shred the potatoes. I pan-fried the egg roll and served the first round hot, during a break in the show. A couple of girls weren't that interested in the show and ended up measuring and pouring juice and bubbly water for spritzers, using up juice from last week.

Then we ate!

It couldn't be done without parent volunteers!
The egg rolls were polished off, and most everyone enjoyed the latkes and the taco pie.  Note to self: the taco pie would be an excellent pot luck dish.  One student was okay with the latkes, but had several enthusiastic helpings of the homemade applesauce from my freezer.The grand finale (for me at least) was the tiramisu. I'd never made it before so it has always seemed like a miraculous item that exists only in fancy restaurants. Kids enjoyed it, although some didn't like the intense coffee flavor. The lady fingers were a bit soggy with coffee (I'm not sure how quickly they were dipped...), but the custard and whipped cream were fantastic! I ate two servings and skipped dinner.

Everyone washed their dishes, we cleaned up the room, and voila! Happy New Years were exchanged and the room was empty.

Happy New Year to all!

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