caribou_gen: (Default)
[personal profile] caribou_gen
Many of you know I'll be the Foods teacher this year at my school. Now I enjoy cooking and baking, but I've never been formally taught it myself (Home Economics was never offered at any school I attended).

my students: generally low to middle class, considered at-risk, some struggling to live on own

my kitchen: pretty small, no fan, will probably fit 5-6 youth at a time BUT I have a food mixer and a food processor and an oven/stove along with maybe a few other nifty items

my class: I'm holding it every Thursday for 3 hours; the youth will need to attend at least two to three classes in order to earn a high school credit; the bonus is that they get to eat for lunch whatever they cook

my ideas: I'm considering a few themed classes along the line of holidays or nationalities, but mostly I want to focus on nutrition and affordability

What fabulous recipes or dishes do you think these youth should learn or would like to learn? So far, a few of my ideas include crepes (savory and dessert), quiche, pizza, homemade pasta, taco salad, sushi, chicken caesar salad, fajita, hummus, lasagna, bannock, chili with cornbread (although I could use a good tried and true recipe for both)...

on 2010-10-01 02:54 am (UTC)
buhrger: (cake)
Posted by [personal profile] buhrger
i've got a jambalaya recipe lying around somewhere that isn't too compicated, and makes lots of tasty food.

on 2010-10-01 12:10 pm (UTC)
buhrger: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] buhrger
see email

on 2010-10-01 03:24 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
In the department of "affordability and nutrition" I think that they might get more out of lessons on how to be creative with storebought whole wheat pasta and cooking in different ways vs. homemade pasta, which is not practical for just about anyone given the time and cost factor involved.

Pizza is great, especially considering how crappy restaurant pizza is, and how easy and cheap pizza is to make.

I'm guessing they'd be particularly attracted to recipes that were like the restaurant counterparts. There used to be a website out there for rip off recipes, but I can't remember the name right now.

One pot meals, also. Slow cooker stuff maybe? Things that people on a budget who have limited time can do easily.

on 2010-10-01 03:31 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I thought about slow cooker, but it isn't possible to do much in three hours.

I also thought about the practicality of homemade vs store bought pasta - I plan on usually using store bought, but I'd like to make homemade once for an Italian themed day. I think it might be fun for the kids.

on 2010-10-01 03:33 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I do agree it would be fun. And it's good to see how pasta is made.

I also see pasta as a staple for people on a budget too. So it is really helpful to see that it can be cooked in so many different ways. I have a really good pasta cookbook if you want to borrow it.

I'm totally rambling, here.

on 2010-10-01 07:19 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
How much do they get to learn knife skills?

How much will you be teaching them how to read ingredient labels?

Do they know how to make cookies? Pancakes? Fry a burger? I've met kids who don't know how to crack an egg.

I'm thinking that maybe they need some very, very basics. How to make tasty vegetables. How to choose produce.

(I'm basing this on my very, very naive-about-life-skills kid brother.)

In the U.S., I'd wonder if those kids needed to learn how to cook with food pantry (charity) staples like canned goods, and government cheese. Too bad you don't have a pressure cooker as part of your batterie. (Learning how to tenderize tough cuts of meat is a big plus on a budget.)

Basic eggs - boiled, scrambled, sunny side up.
Taco salad is good for teaching a lot of fundamental skills.

Quesadillas. Grilled cheese.

Banana bread.

on 2010-10-01 06:41 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
How about a stirfry - quick, healthy, and doesn't have to be expensive.

on 2010-10-01 08:02 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I would've found quiche a bit frustrating when I was that age, as pie crusts can be really finicky, although I like a lot of the other idea.

Learning to use dried beans is such a good budget-saver that I think it should be in every home ec style class: you could probably explain how make them in the slow-cooker and have chickpeas cook overnight, so they're ready to make hummus with in the class or something. Same for chili beans.

Things like dips and homemade salad dressings to make eating veggies more interesting seems like a good idea, too.

I gather, though, that you're trying to balance the healthy aspect with the making things that they already like to eat aspect. My home ec class was very health and nutrition oriented, so this is what I immediately think of, although most of what we cooked in there seemed really bland and boring to me, especially since I'd already been cooking for awhile.

on 2010-10-01 10:16 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I have adapted a cornbread recipe from buhrger's Moosewood recipe book (I sometimes add spices and/or dried fruit).

on 2010-10-01 10:17 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Bagels and pretzels are fun and easy to make and similar but different! Neither are really a meal, however. I still make the same Caesar salad recipe that I learned in Home Ec., so I totally support that decision.

I also like [ profile] trinker's ideas of quesadillas (any kinds of fillings + cheese!) and banana bread (easy, uses up browning bananas, can be eaten for any meal).

Fruit crisps and smoothies can be made with imperfect fruit - Superstore sells big bags of it for cheap.

Salad dressing are quick, easy and variable. You could discuss the various salad options, too: salad inna bag vs. buying a head of lettuce. What a real tomato tastes like. What "baby carrots" really are. Adding protein to a salad to make it a meal: chickpeas or other beans, canned tuna/salmon/chicken, nuts, cheese.

Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio could integrate math lessons with simple recipes (good for learning how to make more or less of a recipe.) His top rated recipe in How to Cook Everything is called: Boiled Water.

Fun! Wish I could join your class. :D
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