Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Let's Move...P.S. 11

Today was my first day of putting Ms.Obama’s Let’s Move project in action. Where? At P.S.11 in NYC! I was fortunate to come across a school that has a wonderful relationship with a farm, more specifically Stoneledge Farm a certified organic farm in Greene County, NY. Every Wednesday the school receives fresh, seasonal, local crops, which the children sell at their very own farmer's market outside the school! Then I have the privilege of working with these ingredients as well and deciding on how they would become the star of the week's recipe. Today we had on hand, Chinese napa cabbage, rat tail radishes, scallions as well as beets, escarole and bright lights Swiss chard. Considering the delightful heatwave we are experiencing, I thought including a creamy cole slaw recipe would be ideal. Naturally, I had given other recipe ideas to Deborah--as we were both excited about the beets and greens--but the Napa Cole Slaw won!
I had the pleasure of working with 3rd graders. The boys and girls each rushed to wash their hands and sit by a cutting board in anticipation of creating something fresh, healthy and delicious. I was so happy to see their eagerness and thrilled by how excited they were to work alongside a “real chef”. It warmed my heart to know how the profession I love so much has became the new “superhero” of choice for so many children! Moments later the boys and girls were working hard cutting napa cabbage, radishes, scallions and apples. I must say they did a great job in getting uniform pieces, especially considering that they were using plastic knifes. Then we were on to the dressing. We mixed buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, a bit of dry mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. (You can get the actual recipe on P.S. 11's Blog click here!) We lightly dressed our salad and allowed the dressing to do its work in wilting the cabbage. In the meanwhile I drilled them over the ingredients used and asked each student to explain a step in our recipe. I was delighted to know that when Deborah came over to inquire they all eagerly knew what made up their slaw.

Half hour later we had Napa Cole Slaw! After a final taste we were ready to serve. I must confess as a student and I began passing out individual servings of our masterpiece I grew nervous of their reaction. I knew the slaw tasted good, but still serving a group of children a bunch of greens on the first day they meet you can be a little nerve wrecking. Their reactions: a unanimous 2 Thumbs Up!!! I was more than happy to provide them with the seconds, and thirds they requested and honored to have taken part of this mission! Together we made a great impact. I am excited for a lot of things: Of working with the children next week, of learning of the bounty that awaits us in the upcoming weeks, and the endless possibilities and recipes that the summer will embrace us with! Cheers to a good start!

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