Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Continuing Culinary Creations

It's hard to believe that it was just last week that we were still in the throes of the SFSP! So much got accomplished last week; I feel that in a lot of ways we were really just beginning to hit our stride, in terms of food preparation and working with the kids. However, all of us who've been working with the program are equally exhausted, so amid the bittersweet farewell I think we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

One way or the other, I wanted to share with you some of the meals we prepared over the last few days. On Wednesday morning for breakfast, we toasted Crumbs cinnamon-currant bread and served it with scrambled-farm fresh eggs loaded with plenty of fresh cheese - a perennial favorite among the kids. All of our meals this week were complete with an array of fresh fruit - a testament to the hot summer growing season and our generous local farmers' ample bounty. One morning we had enough extra peaches, apples, and other fruit to cook up a batch of fresh applesauce!

Thursday's lunch was another smorgasbord of color, roundly filling the plates with exciting food. We made hummus, a delectable, savory dip made from chickpeas, and served it with fresh veggies, whole-wheat pita, and organic corn chips for dipping. An Italian-inspired vegetable salad and a hard-boiled egg rounded out this meal, perfectly light for a hot summer's afternoon.

We stayed busy in the classroom, too. This week's lesson reviewed the food groups, serving sizes, and the nutrients contained therein. We also got to have a little treat, also perfect for a summer's afternoon, as Cindy and Dane showed the kids how to make fresh whipped cream, which they lavished over fresh-cut melon and Crumbs scones. How fancy (and delicious!)

The week continued a-hustle and a-bustle. We whipped up one last batch of toasty oat breakfast cereal (aka granola), which served with an assortment of fresh fruit, went over very well. The last morning, breakfast was a sweet bread pudding, although in retrospect we probably ought to have named it something other than "pudding" as a cooked breakfast pudding differs just a little from Jell-O chocolate pudding. Nevertheless, it turned out wonderfully and went over very well. Even to the last, the kids were taking any new stuff we could throw at them and gamely eating it! I'm really impressed by these students; they experienced at least one new food every day for five weeks, and kept coming back.

For lunch the last day, we had a special treat! Campers were invited to bring their parents, siblings, friends, etc, and the camp had a celebration of sorts. A talent show and dance party took place, among many other fun activities. And for lunch? Hot, fresh pizza! We made the whole-wheat dough from scratch the night before and loaded it with mixed cheeses and colorful fresh bell peppers. Delicioso!

But lunch Friday was not limited just to delectable pizzas. Amid the gala festivities, I didn't get a chance to take any more pictures, but we had a green salad (in fact, two enormous buckets of green salad for all the guests!), the ever-popular ants on a log (celery + natural peanut butter + currants), and beautiful fruit kebabs threaded with small watermelon and cantaloupe balls, pineapple, grapes, and strawberries, and served in a hollowed-out watermelon bowl. We had a lot of help putting this meal together; the Kids on Campus VISTAs did a beautiful job with the kebabs, and everyone teamed up to make lunch, and the whole camp, something to be proud of.

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