Rachel Nottingham, AmeriCorps service member who teaches the culinary classes and coordinates the Elementary School snack program, gets lots of thank you letters from the students! They LOVE to cook, and eat!
In this post, she shares about the Elementary School Farm to Home Harvest Feast on Thursday, November 18th.
This year, the Harvest Feast was fully adapted to a take-home meal. Included were new recipes we developed that were made by our 5th and 6th grade culinary students! Click HERE for the menu!
They began their preparation by learning how to make mashed potatoes and exploring different methods to meet allergy concerns. This lesson consisted of knife skills and cooking techniques including how to confit garlic!
After mastering 112 pounds of potatoes we moved on to arguably the most important dish of fall.. Pumpkin Pie! A big thank you to Whidbey Pies for donating pie crusts to make this happen! The students learned the importance of warming spices and why ratios are important when blending them. They jumped right in by scooping out the seeds of the farm grown pumpkins with their (gloved) hands, and practiced cracking eggs. Their effort was rewarded in the form of 40 pumpkin pies!
You’d think they’d get tired cutting 60 pounds of carrots but they proved us wrong! During a 40 minute lesson, these students plowed through farm harvested carrots for the thyme and garlic roasted carrots!
Our culinary students are ready for any cutting job after this accomplishment!
The final recipe was a seasonal kale salad. The students prepped the kale using a massage technique to break down the fibers so the salad could soak up more of the vinaigrette that featured the apple juice from their apple pressing lesson! They were able to release all their pre-teen angst by emulsifying balsamic vinegar and olive oil to be mixed in completing the Harvest Feast kale salad.
Then, on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, the boxed-up meals were delivered to the over 275 students and family members who had signed up. Artwork and cards from the younger grades, as well as the menu, were included in the decorated bags.
We got fan mail! “I just want to thank you all for the lovely harvest feast we had last night, compliments of my granddaughter Savannah Alder (kindergarten) who proudly brought dinner home to her family including us grandparents.
Not only was the food delicious but during dinner Savannah shared with us all she had learned about what is UNDER the mulch – much to the delight of her little brother who loves worms and all crawly things. Best of all, the kids ate and loved the vegetables and really loved the pie! Many thanks from our family!”
The 2021 Harvest Feast was made possible by Whidbey Island Nourishes, and South Whidbey School Farms. and we are excited for next year’s event!
Cheers to a bountiful season!