At Bayard Taylor Elementary, the fifth-grade chefs all knew they would like burritos, but they didn’t know exactly how they could create them from scratch. But with a sense of adventure and strong teamwork skills, they discovered that making fresh, healthy, breakfast burritos was not that hard at all.
And they were not disappointed with the outcome.
“The food was amazing!” declared Katie Wilson at the end of class.
“It was goooooooood,” echoed Giselle Velez, stretching out her O’s for emphasis.
To be sure, there were obstacles to overcome, and new tastes to be tried (to mixed reaction).
The large chopping knives were daunting to start, particularly for petite Angeline Torres, who gamely (and safely) mastered her first onion though the knife was almost as big as her forearm (we’ll find a smaller knife next week). Giselle and Katie, meanwhile, handily dispatched a red pepper into neat, even chunks after a cautious start.
The students were familiar with most of the featured ingredients: Onion, pepper, spinach, black beans and scrambled eggs.
But there was novelty to some of the new flavors. Katie didn’t like the sliced avocado and doesn’t like any kind of cheese (though she agreed to sample the melted Monterrey Jack inside the heated burrito). But Angeline declared the Monterrey Jack cheese “the best I’ve ever had” and with Giselle enthused “I love avocado.”
There was also lots of enthusiasm for seeing how a meal comes together with planning and preparation. The students were quick studies learning the importance of having everything prepped and ready before the cooking starts. And they overcame some early trepidation at being around the hot burners of the stove.
It helped that Giselle and Angeline had done a little cooking at home (Giselle loves to make cupcakes and Angeline helps her mom make chicken and rice — “my favorite!”)
But everyone welcomed the chance to “learn new things,” as Giselle put it.
Katie in particular liked being able to make a meal on her own. “I really liked the cooking,” she said. “I don’t get to cook at home, so I liked getting to cook here.”
She especially liked the moment when the rolled and heated burritos came out of the oven.
“We’ve just been waiting for this moment!” she said as the burritos were served onto plates.
“We are all chefs!” Giselle declared, rubbing her fingers together before digging in.
“My favorite part was the egg, and the beans were really good,” said ShyJanay Turner, who had to come late to the first class due to a conflict with computer club. “The food was really, really good.”