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POSTED: Friday, November 15, 2013, 5:55 PM
Lixjohanne Alicea, 10, with a finished fish taco and a smile.

Nobody was too enthusiastic about the idea of making fish tacos for our fifth cooking lesson at Bayard Taylor Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

 Mark Ramirez, 10, and Kareema Brown, 11 , get chopping, preparing to make fish tacos at Bayard Taylor Elementary School in North Philadelphia. AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer The fifth graders in the after-school class were on board for the taco part. But the cod, which none of them had tasted before, not so much.

 "I don't really like fish," said Bianca Perez, wrinkling her nose.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 5:55 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, November 15, 2013, 5:52 PM
Finished fish taco on a plate. None of the fifth graders had tasted cod before.

Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1/2 head red cabbage

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 5:52 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, November 15, 2013, 5:48 PM
Jalia Hale assembles fish tacos at Community Partnership School.

Kitchen Notebook:

Community Partnership School

The fish tacos and salad were a big hit. We got the cod that was on sale at ShopRite. After we got everything ready, each kid assembled their own taco with a few chunks of fish, slaw, a drizzle of lime-mayo, and a sprinkle of cilantro. We used the whole-wheat tortillas again and no one even noticed. Although Annette Grant didn't think she liked fish tacos, she asked for more after finishing her first! Three kids wanted to take the leftover salad home. The tacos were all gone except for Anyia Daniel's, the only one who still didn't like the fish, but she did try it. Nicholas Bowersox, who said he didn't like fish, was caught eating it. We think we made a convert!

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 5:48 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 6:57 PM
The Moroccan vegetable stew was a hit with the students. (MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer)

At 83 years of age, the preparation of daily meals has lost some of its luster, but reading your series about teaching kids healthy cooking has really ginned up my enthusiasm. I was looking rather dourly at a butternut squash Thursday, wondering if I could get away with letting it sit on my counter and rot, when I read this week's adventures with Moroccan stew. I got right down to it, shoulder to shoulder with your neophyte chefs. Instead of whacking away at the carrots, I was inspired by Mark Ramirez to slice careful coins. I was reminded again how much we enjoy quinoa. I threw spices around with abandon. It was lots of fun. The way you write is terrific. The stew was delicious. I feel like a kid again.

-- Jane Sebold

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 6:57 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, November 8, 2013, 6:07 PM
(From left) Yariel Fernandez, Lixjohanne Alicea, Mark Ramirez, and Kareema Brown add ingredients to pan.

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.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 6:07 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, November 8, 2013, 6:00 PM
Moroccan Stew With Squash and Carrots simmers on the stove at Bayard Taylor School. (MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer)

Makes 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 6:00 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, November 8, 2013, 5:56 PM

St. Martin De Porres

We loved loved loved the Moroccan stew, but the girls, not so much.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 5:56 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, November 8, 2013, 5:55 PM
Annette Grant chops cilantro for the Moroccan stew at Community Partners. (ADRIAN SELTZER)

 

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.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 5:55 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Maureen Fitzgerald, Inquirer food editor, has been cooking for 30 years. Her blog started with her daughter, but has been continuing for the past year with school children, this spring with fifth graders at Henry Lawton Elementary in Philadelphia. The program has expanded to 10 schools, with 20 volunteers working with a total of 50 urban children. The program is partnering with the Vetri Foundation for Children and Brown’s Shop Rite is providing the food.

Reach My Daughter's at mfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

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