Not me. Ha.
There are lots of hard things about leaving my babies and going back to work. Mostly I’m trying to focus on my goal of doing without wasting time complaining about it (except a little. I complain a little).
When the kids poured into the room and all sat on the back row next to their friends, I felt a little like the babysitter. Y’know, how you tell the babysitter that you always stay up past 10pm and eat ice cream for dessert because Mom and Dad always let me. Except substitute “This has always been my assigned seat and we always chew gum.”
I made my negotiations and played tough but fair teacher to classes of smirking students. I gave my speeches about getting A’s and not making excuses and that fun is not just a word that describes parties.
And then I had my culinary class. And to me, fun is a word that describes cooking.
Culinary 1 is not actually just a cooking class, but is about the food industry, nutrition, and a whole slew of things that have very little to do with cooking. Certain other factors involving practicality, location, time, and money reduce that even further.
Despite this, I’m planning on making it as real as possible, and I’ve already made a couple of promises. To show some good faith on my part (and requiring some show of responsibility on their part), I brought ingredients for smoothie making. I went through my cupboards and fridge and basically brought anything that could possibly be called good in a smoothie. Here were my thoughts:
1. It’s hard to make a bad smoothie. Possible, but harder.
2. Experimentation is easier and faster with a smoothie.
3. It requires almost no skill.
I had each group create a recipe with my list of ingredients, and then they were able to “test” it out in my blender. Mostly, they were just too watery. Somewhat edible.
I learned more from watching them make smoothies:
1. Most of them don’t know how to read or use measuring cups and generally have no concept of volume.
2. Most don’t know that vanilla and baking cocoa don’t contain sugar.
3. They don’t have much experience with taste.
After scanning their "favorite foods” and foods they hate from a questionnaire I gave them, I’m pretty sure my ideas about good food and theirs are a million miles apart.
For example, “Hot Pockets” is not something I would say if someone asked me what I knew how to cook.
As we were coming up with recipes and blending, I was surprised at how quiet everyone was. At my school we have quite a few big jokers. Classes are talkative and generally you have to keep a lid on things. Most teachers keep their mean faces for order’s sake. But in my room, today, they all acted like kids who were being allowed to help in the kitchen for the first time.
I guess that’s what was happening, but I didn’t realize that they were nervous about it.
I’ve got a plan in my head for Momofuku Ginger Scallion Noodles next week. Almost no cooking, knife skills, and simple recipe are the pros. Yet I’m worried that kids who are used to bottled spaghetti sauce are going to hate it.
Then I’ll lose all credibility as a person who knows about food.
Kids are definitely the worst critics, as you can see from Amaya’s face.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie (adapted from a student recipe)
A group of students actually did create this recipe, but I’ve made adjustments as the original had way too much peanut butter and milk. The cinnamon was an interesting touch, I thought.
- 2 bananas, frozen
- 1 Cup milk
- 1 vanilla pudding cup
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp honey
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
Blend together and serve. You may need more milk, depending on your blender and desired consistency.