What is that?" Bianca Perez exclaimed as I pulled a cream-colored, bottlenecked gourd from the grocery bag.
(From left) Yariel Fernandez, Lixjohanne Alicea, Mark Ramirez, and Kareema Brown add ingredients to pan. "Butternut squash," I said.
"Does it taste like peanut butter?" asked Mark Ramirez.
St. Martin De Porres
We loved loved loved the Moroccan stew, but the girls, not so much.
Week 2 and we finally had our space in CPS's fully equipped kitchen. Before we started cooking we passed around the cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger - "Like gingerbread cookies!" Their curiosity was piqued as they smelled (and insisted on tasting) the spices as we explained a little bit about each one. All the kids wanted to put their fingers in the quinoa, which is seeds (not grains as Adrian pointed out).
After the stew was cooked and served, some thought it was a bit too spicy and some thought the chunks of vegetables were too big. We will be going over cutting even pieces next week. Annette was surprised that she liked the carrots even though she doesn't like carrots. They all liked the parsnips we added.
We had only three students this week, and as usual we started with the map, and located Morocco. Peeling and chopping were the most popular tasks once again. Some of the spices were unfamiliar but interesting to the students. We got the main course together, and while it cooked we baked apples for Halloween.
The quinoa was a real winner! The Moroccan stew flavors and the sauce were warmly received but some carrots and squash were left on the plates. When Alaina's mom arrived early with sibs in tow, they eagerly tasted the leftovers and went back for more. I showed Alaina's mom the bag of quinoa and she was delighted to hear she would be able to buy it at ShopRite.
When I arrived for our third cooking class at Bayard Taylor school in North Philadelphia, I learned two of my students were missing dance club to be there. I would understand the true extent of that sacrifice as class progressed.
Eggplant fries were also on the menu. First, I handed out new aprons, a gift from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. (Thanks, PHS.) As we read over this week's recipes, for turkey burgers and eggplant fries, the young chefs were looking quite professional!
Four of the five kids had never tasted eggplant. They eyed the shiny, dark-purple vegetable curiously, but were not the least bit resistant to trying it.