On the menu for Monday night was winter minestrone soup with kale and butternut squash, pesto ciabatta toasts, and fruit salad. You can download the recipe for the soup and toasts here. Each family worked together to prep an ingredient for the soup (e.g. dice onions, peel and cut carrots, mince garlic, chop kale, etc.). We then finished preparing the soup demo style. While the soup simmered, we made fresh basil pesto, which we spread on ciabatta rolls and sprinkled with mozarella cheese. The final dish to prepare was a fruit salad, with grapes, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, and blueberries. All of the families seemed to enjoy the meal, and one student remarked that he tried everything on his plate--a testament to the power of cooking to entice kids to try new things.
The cooking class, made up of 4th grade students, will meet once a week for 6 weeks, from January 5 - February 9. Each week the students will prepare a new dish and be given a recipe to take home and prepare with their families on Monday night. The goal of the class is to help our students develop self-efficacy in the kitchen and encourage families to eat healthy meals together at home. This year, all eight k-5 elementary schools in Chicopee will be offering a cooking class to students as part of our district wide farm to school efforts. Keep an eye out for sign-ups at your child's school!