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Archive: April, 2013

POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013, 6:25 PM
Kayla Reid (left) and Hope Wescott do some dancing in the kitchen as they wait for the potatoes in the pot to finish cooking. The students at St. Martin de Porres School learned how to maple mustard chicken and mashed potatoes with cauliflower. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

The girls were so thrilled to see chicken thighs and drumsticks that they temporarily lost their minds.

"Are we making fried chicken?" Hope Wescott asked breathlessly.

"Sorry," I said. "Not in a class about healthy cooking."

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 6:25 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 2:08 PM
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Chamya Davis prepared salmon cakes for her family from the ingredients sent home after last week’s lesson, and she emailed this beautiful photo to prove it. Her dad told her that they were better than the ones he makes. So exciting!

Did anyone else make them?

Jayla whipped out her phone and showed me a photo of the very impressive salmon cakes she had made at home.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 2:08 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 3:28 PM
Food editor Maureen Fitzgerald reviews dicing with (from left) Chamya Davis, Hope Wescott, Kayla Reid, and Maliyah Gregg at the St. Martin De Porres convent kitchen. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)

Maliyah Gregg was first to arrive and was hoping for a private lesson: "If I'm the only one, do I get to do everything myself?" she asked.

Moments later the rest of the troops showed up and her face fell. Not only did Hope Wescott, Jayla Reeves, and Kayla Reid come, but also Chamya Davis, 11, a new student.

Mariah Bey did not. She was absent last week too, and it turns out her family moved out of the area because of an emergency. We are all hoping she'll be back.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 3:28 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 11, 2013, 11:56 AM

Maliyah Gregg's eyes lit up when she spied a package of bacon on the counter for cooking class in the convent kitchen at St. Martin De Porres in North Philadelphia. And then she saw the spinach.

"Can I eat just the bacon? Please? Just the bacon and a boiled egg. It will be like breakfast. Please?"

After four weeks of cooking lessons, I had gotten the message loud and clear from Maliyah and the other 5th and 6th grade girls: We want meat!

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 11:56 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, April 5, 2013, 7:13 PM
Kayla Reid and Hope Wescott (right) check on the pizza with food editor Maureen Fitzgerald. Kayla told the teacher that her mother had made turkey meat loaf from the recipe she learned in class. (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer)

After three cooking lessons with 11-year-old girls at St. Martin De Porres in North Philadelphia, it was time to add some chemistry to the skills they were learning in the convent kitchen. Not the periodic table, mind you, but the magical alchemy of baking. And what is more exciting than baking pizza from scratch?

Because the dough is made with yeast that takes hours to rise, I brought some that already had risen, as well as ingredients so the girls could make some themselves.

"Are we actually making the dough?" asked the not-easily-impressed Jayla Reeves. "Wow!"

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 7:13 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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