Another school year has come to a close. Kindergarteners with little coordination have blossomed into seasoned 1st grade Chefs able to grate, roll and chop their way through a recipe. 4th graders are now familiar with the kitchen and 5th graders are off to greener middle school pastures able to complete a recipe all on their own, with a little fraction problem solving under their belts. While I now have a summer to theoretically relax, I am already looking towards a yet undecided menu for next year’s curriculum (44 new recipes!– what are your favorite ideas?), new sous chefs to mold into fearless eaters and adventurous chefs, new students unfamiliar with our kitchen rules and understanding why we’ll never make chocolate chip cookies.
The picture above is one of my favorite from our end of semester party. Love it. I think it really shows off my students’ personalities. Those kids were so proud serving their creations at our party: coconut macaroons, baked falafel in pita, spring green soup and mardi gras pretzels. They especially love assembling the platters and prepping for the party. Most everything was eaten with great zeal and what wasn’t eagerly went into doggy bags to take home. Definitely a crew I will miss.
While our end-of-semester party may have occurred, there was still cooking to be done. We whisked up fritattas the week after the party. So delicious some of the kindergarteners suggested we freeze them for next semester’s end-of-year party– in January! Some adults provide sweets for special treats, apparently I bring out the bacon. As a special treat for a semester well done, I purchased some truly amazing, melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto to put into our fritattas (along with basil, asparagus and cheddar cheese). The verdict:
“Prosciutto?! Isn’t that ham?! Gross! I’m just having asparagus, I love asparagus.”
Wait, seriously? Ham is now gross and asparagus is loved? Do I need to clean out my ears (while I polish off the last of the prosciutto alone?)! It was by all means not my intention to create prosciutto-hating mongers. Okay, so this was just in two of my kindergarten classes. The older kids, they know not to look a gift horse in the mouth and savored each fatty bite.
Our last week we made creamsicles. Do you know what I am referring to? Those electric orange-flavored popsicles with cream-filled centers? So good that as a child it might have caused you to mix milk with orange juice one too many times, hoping with each curdling bit of milk floating to the top that next time would instead produce that creamy-orange dream.
Ours were extremely simplified, perfect for that last week when no one really wants to do anything, but everyone is still moving through the motions.
For our cream filling we mixed Greek yogurt with honey. Something many of the kids already know and love. Each team of chefs had a choice of fruit to pick from: watermelon, cantaloupe, peach, pineapple, strawberry. They sliced and diced then brought it to me for a final puree in the immersion blender. Into a paper bathroom cup went one scoop of pureed fruit, one scoop of cream filling then topped with another scoop of fruit. Frozen overnight and voila, creamsicles. Since these are basically yogurt with a touch of honey and fruit, you could even chow down on these as a snack, or heck, breakfast with a side of toast on a hot summer day.
The verdict on these? Reactions from the kindergarteners more positive than, “gross! Ham!” I heard:
“These are better than real ice cream.”