Suzanne Dunham, an local herbalist who specializes in gluten-free cooking, volunteered to help us with cooking classes. Students wanted to cook recipes for the school lunch program that could use ingredients from the school garden and ingredients that could be locally sourced. The recipes needed to be practical for the kind of large-scale production needed in the school cafeteria. In collaboration with the Food Services Director, we planned some recipes to meet these needs and arranged to have our first cooking session on March 31, 2010. After cooking, students delivered a “taste test” for other students and teachers in the building. If the taste test was successful, the recipes would be scaled up to meet the needs of the cafeteria kitchen and then added into into the regular school lunch menu.
The cooking class prepared a minestrone soup, which they titled “The Rockin’ Rebel Minestrone Soup.” They also made some cranberry and blueberry “Mahoosuc Muffins” and some roasted white and sweet potato wedges.
Taste-testers were encouraged to complete a short online survey, which was available on laptops in the testing area. There were 31 responses to the survey, which asked respondents to rate the taste of each recipe and report on the likelihood that they would select this food if it was served in the cafeteria. The results were very positive for all the foods served at the taste test. Large-scale recipes have now been created by students in Mr. Kenney’s math class at TMS, and the recipes will be added to lunch menu soon. We have continued working with Suzanne on a variety of efforts, and we continue to have cooking classes with her help. To learn more about our latest cooking efforts, click HERE.