In our final week of the summer program, we had a full week of harvesting, cooking, and creating our own recipes! It was a wonderful way to end the summer program. We harvested potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and melon from our garden on Monday. On Wednesday, we made lunch and had pasta sauce, boiled potatoes, cooked broccoli and melon for dessert. The kids all ate gluten-free pasta noodles and didn't even notice the difference. Let me know if you would like the pasta sauce recipe as it was a big hit for most of the students. We tripled the recipe for the pasta sauce (great fraction lesson for Karsen) and we also made pizza sauce since we had so many tomatoes from my home garden.
Karsen had the idea that each child (and teacher!) create a recipe of their own. On Thursday the students became the chefs! I had each student write out a recipe card for their "made-up recipe." I also made copies for everyone so they should be in their folders. Writing the recipe cards taught the students about the format of a recipe card, how to label teaspoons and tablespoons and finally the most difficult aspect: the directions. Writing clear directions is essential for a recipe. I made the point by explaining I would pour the chocolate chips (not melted) on the pretzel because that was what the card said. It's very easy to skip steps. Also, we talked about experimenting with measurements and cook time in the microwave. I explained how some people don't use recipes when they cook which is great because they have a talent for creating from taste, but it's difficult to pass along those recipes to younger generations. I had my grandmother's turkey gravy in mind for that conversation! The other highlight of the week was when the children set up a store in the classroom and used play money to buy items. This was completely student initiated! When I came back into the classroom after putting the pasta sauce in the oven, the students were already enthralled in their own world. Karsen was the store owner and weighed the items to see how much they cost. Then the younger students gave her money and she provided them with change. I'm not sure how accurate the process was as this is a difficult concept, but it was a fun way to get the idea started.
Today Judd came in and set up a chemistry experiment while also teaching the kids how to bake homemade bread. He started with a group discussion identifying the four main ingredients of bread: flour, water, salt and yeast. Yeast was unfamiliar to the littles so Jack (our 11 year old) explained that yeast was alive which allows the bread to rise. Judd added that the yeast gives off carbon dioxide, which creates the bubbles in the bread.
Each student met with Judd and whipped up their secret batch of bread. One batch was perfect. Another didn't have any salt. One had too much flour and one had too much water. The last one didn't have any yeast. The kids kept their secret until the end and made observations and predictions before and after cooking.
The school smelled wonderful as the bread cooked. We all had a difficult time waiting for it to cool before enjoying each bread experiment with butter and homemade jam from the Lawler's house. Amazingly, all the bread tasted good and the one with no yeast was requested for seconds! We have some dough lovers in the group! Here is the recipe for the perfect bread!
3 c water
1 T + 1t. . salt
1 T + 1t. yeast
6 1/2 c flour