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Breakfast Around the World Week 3: Taiwan

There is something so therapeutic about working with dough. At first, the idea of a savory pancake made with green onions didn't appeal to many of the kids... until they made them with their own hands and tasted the result! Each student got to make their own pancake, which then got shared with the whole class. 

I taught everyone how to say 葱油饼 (cong you bing - literally "green onion oil pancake") in Mandarin. We learned how Chinese is a tonal language and how varying the tone of a single syllable like "ma" can yield the words for "mom", "sesame", "horse", and "to scold" (their clear favorite).

Instead of a tisane, we drank hot, sweetened soymilk as is traditional for breakfast in Taiwan. One student said it reminded her of edamame, which led to a discussion about how the two very different foods actually come from the same ingredient. On Wednesday, we finished the meal with a rousing chorus of "Thank you, Taiwan!" started by a particularly enthusiastic group of second graders.

The dough had to rest before students started to work with it.

The dough had to rest before students started to work with it.

Helmets are a key safety tool in the kitchen classroom ;)

Helmets are a key safety tool in the kitchen classroom ;)

We brushed the rolled out dough with avocado oil.

We brushed the rolled out dough with avocado oil.

Rolling up the pancake filled with green onions.

Rolling up the pancake filled with green onions.

We called this the "cinnamon roll" step!

We called this the "cinnamon roll" step!

The pancake right before we cooked it.

The pancake right before we cooked it.

Students really enjoyed adding more oil and flipping the pancakes as they turned golden brown.

Students really enjoyed adding more oil and flipping the pancakes as they turned golden brown.

Ready to serve!

Ready to serve!

Smashed cucumber salad made a refreshing pairing with the savory pancakes.

Smashed cucumber salad made a refreshing pairing with the savory pancakes.

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There's a step missing here, which is to sprinkle more salt and sugar on the cucumbers to taste right before serving! 

There's a step missing here, which is to sprinkle more salt and sugar on the cucumbers to taste right before serving! 

Breakfast Around the World Week 2: Mexico

This week we traveled to Mexico and prepared a dish with a fun name to pronounce: chilaquiles! Few of the students had tried this meal before, which added to the thrill of the experience.  Instead of day-old tortillas, we used large, thick tortilla chips made in Sonoma. The salsa we used was from Papalote Mexican Grill in the Mission. Everyone got to handle knives or scissors to prepare the many layers of flavor that went into the final product: onion, garlic, peppers, avocado, limes, cilantro and oregano, radishes, and queso fresco, a fresh Mexican cheese.

We were honored this week to welcome special staff guests kindergarten teacher Miss Information (aka Queen of the Castro) and second grade teacher Ms. Butler, who picked and called out cards for an energetic (and competitive) game of Lotería to close the class. 

Our new chalkboard!

Our new chalkboard!

We start each morning with a tisane. This week we tried  agua de jamaica  (hibiscus tea).

We start each morning with a tisane. This week we tried agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea).

Good morning!

Good morning!

First graders like to practice their reading while following the recipe steps.

First graders like to practice their reading while following the recipe steps.

Red bell peppers helped us make a tasty but less spicy version of traditional  chilaquiles .

Red bell peppers helped us make a tasty but less spicy version of traditional chilaquiles.

Our garnishes included cilantro, radishes, and avocado.

Our garnishes included cilantro, radishes, and avocado.

The salsa just before we added chips and scrambled eggs.

The salsa just before we added chips and scrambled eggs.

Our trip to Mexico wouldn't have been complete without a game of Lotería (similar to bingo), played with Jacob's Cattle beans to mark our lucky numbers and images.

Our trip to Mexico wouldn't have been complete without a game of Lotería (similar to bingo), played with Jacob's Cattle beans to mark our lucky numbers and images.

HMCRA's version of  chilaquiles !

HMCRA's version of chilaquiles!

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Breakfast Around the World Week 1: Belgium

Our first week of classes was such a joy and it felt great to be cooking and laughing together in our new kitchen classroom! We traveled to Western Europe and worked with an overnight multi-grain waffle recipe (adding eggs to a batter that was made the night before and preparing new batter for the next day).

Students were particularly interested in one of the ingredients we used, graham flour, because of their familiarity with graham crackers. They whipped heavy cream from scratch and were delighted when they peeled their first blood orange, oohing at the color as they made a seasonal citrus salad with beautiful fruit donated by our friends at Bi-Rite Market. While we cooked, we listened to music by a Belgian blues musician named Elmore D, who sings many of his songs in Walloon, the historical language of southern Belgium. 

When asked to share a closing word to sum up the experience, students came up with "sweet," "yummy," and my favorite: "together"!

We used five different kinds of flour in our waffle batter: white wheat, semolina, cornmeal, buckwheat, and graham.

We used five different kinds of flour in our waffle batter: white wheat, semolina, cornmeal, buckwheat, and graham.

Students in grades 2-5 enjoying the fruits of their labor!

Students in grades 2-5 enjoying the fruits of their labor!

#cleanplateclub

#cleanplateclub

We ate our waffles with freshly whipped cream.

We ate our waffles with freshly whipped cream.

We had some extra fruit,  which got served to HMCRA students for snack at recess.

We had some extra fruit,  which got served to HMCRA students for snack at recess.

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