James L. Dunn Public School, partners in Pure Flavor®‘s Adopt-a-School program is taking things up a notch by incorporating measuring lessons into their after-school cooking sessions! These young chefs will learn more than just culinary skills from using measuring cups while cooking delicious dishes with fresh Pure Flavor® fresh produce.
The students at James L. Dunn Public School look forward to receiving Mini Munchies® as part of their weekly snack program however they have learned even more ways to use fresh greenhouse grown veggies as part of the afterschool Cooking Club program! Though many lessons were learned, here are the Top 10 Lessons learned using a measuring cup!
Lesson 1: The measuring cup was invented in 1896 by Fannie Farmer, who wanted cooking to be more scientific. She was known as the mother of level measurements.
Lesson 2: Ingredients are measured as dry ingredients and wet ingredients.
Lesson 3: Nested measuring cups are used for dry ingredients because they stack into one another.
Lesson 4: To level off the dry ingredients, use the back of a knife.
Lesson 5: Never put stainless steel measuring cups in the microwave. Nothing good will come of it.
Lesson 6: The Math Is Everywhere lesson reminds students that one tablespoon is equal to three teaspoons.
Lesson 7: To measure liquids, you must bend down to eye level and measure the line, not the top of the measuring cup.
Lesson 8: Never measure salt over the dish you are preparing. There is always an over-spill and you don’t want to risk ruining your dish.
Lesson 9: 1 cup = 250 ml and ¼ cup + ¼ cup + ¼ cup equals ¾ cup.
Lesson 10: One cup of dry rice = two cups of cooked rice.
THE AFTER-SCHOOL COOKING PROGRAM –
We wanted our students to identify and view themselves as competent individuals who can cook healthy meals for themselves and their families. Our goal was to teach students about cooking in a fun, healthy, and meaningful way so they would see themselves as empowered individuals.
The aim of our project was to equip students with practical life skills for their transition into adulthood, utilizing cooking as a tool to promote healthy habits, social interactions, and financial and food literacy. We sought to encourage the development of positive attitudes towards nutritious food options by providing hands-on experiences. By engaging in this tangible experience, we hoped that students would be more motivated to experiment with diverse foods and prepare wholesome meals.
The onsite cooking experience “Dunn Chefs in Training Cooking Class” took place every Thursday after school for two hours.
As part of the program, students prepared delicious Pure Flavor® recipes based on their tastes, interests, and cultures. After a demonstration, students chopped, diced, measured, and cooked their way to a three-course meal which was shared at the end of each session. In addition to the onsite cooking experience, students received a recipe book containing all the recipes they prepared necessary to prepare the meals for their families as a follow-up.
Our Chefs in Training were our adventurous Grade 8 students. To date, we have had sixteen Grade 8 students complete our cooking class and we look forward to offering the 4-week course again in the next school year. We have many of our Grade 7 students already asking! Word has definitely gotten around!
This cooking program could not have been possible without the support of Pure Flavor® and their generous weekly donations to our program. It was really important to teach our students the importance of farm-to-table and what choosing local produce really meant to not only our health but our local businesses as well.
What was on the Menu? Pure Flavor® Recipe creations – that’s what!
From Cucumber Mango Salad, to Mexican Street Salad students tried so many new flavors! They even created a Fresh Cocktail Tomato Sauce for a spaghetti dish. We look for recipes that can be completed and eaten within the two hours, but also, recipes that we think the students can go home and make for their families.
PROGRAM REFLECTIONS –
We don’t even know where to begin to express what this program has meant to us as educators. Initially just an idea, we were unsure how to execute it or obtain the necessary equipment and ingredients. However, we recognized the potential benefits for our students – not only would they engage with the curriculum in a meaningful way but also feel empowered through cooking. This inkling of an idea came to fruition because people believed in it and because of the generosity of grants and Pure Flavor® donations. The success of this program and the commitment of Pure Flavor® has enabled us to offer it again this school year. We can’t wait to see where these student chefs will go!