Thursday May 6, 2010, 4pm-6pm!
Ida B. Wells High School
1099 Hayes St. @ Pierce
We’ll take care of simple refreshments, and will be featuring a cookbook of family recipes brought in by our Culinary Arts students. It will give everyone a chance to see what we are doing.
Come on out and support all of our artists!
This could have been the last week we travel across the world with food, because of the many end of school year activities already looming. Sicily has a pretty amazing food history and, set on a latitude very close to our own, it has a lot of recognizable ingredients that grow both there and here. Spring was just peeking out between rainstorms, so we grabbed the opportunity to also feature spring ingredients such as baby artichokes, spring peas and rhubarb.
The most enthralling day was Thursday. We had already made our tomato sauce and caponata base, now was the time to make the sausage and pasta. To hand crank dense dough through a pasta machine into fettucine and grind “lesser” cuts of meat into familiar looking fresh sausage (we used chicken meat, herbs, apple & liver) was spellbinding. And very tasty on Friday. No leftovers!
- Chiffon cake is really fun to make, particularly beating the egg whites separately with a little sugar so that they “poof up into a cloud.” More than one student wanted to dive into that bowl, it looked so much like a cozy blanket.
- That caramel layer? Man, I don’t know what we did, our caramel ended up hard and chewy – and yummy. We warmed it in a double boiler the next day to soften it, and even though we weren’t completely in on the idea of caramel and lemon, that caramel layer? IT MADE THE CAKE.
- I’ve never seen so many students smile here as we blow-torched the outer meringue.
- Tri-color Lasagne with Housemade Pasta & Sauces
- Vegetarian Tuscan Soup
- Mock-Caeser Salad
What also came out of it was that first glimmer of hospitality. We sent a plate up to our main office and yes, the positive cheers from up there hit home. Immediate sense of accomplishment and more.
When someone likes your food, it goes straight to your heart, right next to how it feels when someone cooks for you. It can hook you into becoming a chef or loving to work in a restaurant. But even if it doesn’t, everyone deserves to have and then in turn be able to create these moments.
I ever had in my life.” …. 3rd period new student
Our first week to plate, sit down and eat this semeseter and for our end of week meal last Friday:
Chicken Pot Pie (biscuit topping, not classic pie crust)
Sauteed Flowering Greens in Olive Oil & Garlic
Orange & Kiwi Salad with Honey & Fresh Mint
They liked it.
As to those greens, they tasted close to a rabe-like green, although the Asian farmer I bought them from called them sweet mustard. If anyone knows what I can officially call them, please tell me!
(thank you Rainbow Grocery, it is called Gai Lan…)
Then Monday morning rolls around and all of a sudden, everyone is in class. I usually have pretty good attendance, but rarely does everyone make class. Either there was really nothing else to do out there or word got out that we ate some good food. Now, “What are we eating today?” has become the daily greeting, and this week I had to stall them – no cooking really until Thursday due to school testing, but it was a good chance to discuss and visit the farmer’s markets with those who had completed their testing.
I used to think the produce this time of year would be like the weather, grey, but the colors we saw were pretty astounding. I had seen castel franco before, but this curly purple treviso…pretty exotic. The oranges practically jumped out at us from across the street. And the rainbow chard and the watermelon radish slices caught our eyes too. One of my favorite things about cooking is that the discovery, it never ends.