This last week I’ve been in my first community rotation, working with Operation Food Search. More specifically, I’ve been working with their Cooking Matters instructors.
Check out this video from KETC9’s Living in St. Louis about Operation Food Search’s Cooking Matters.
So what have I been doing with them? Well, after familiarizing myself with what the organization does, what materials they use, and getting a tour of their facilities, I spent some time first observing one of the classes they teach, then assisting with some of the classes and a grocery tour. I’ve helped out with classes for children, adults, and elderly adults. I’ve been taking pictures the entire time, too. (Except for two classes where I didn’t even have a second of down time, but there were official photographers from the host sites there, so hopefully I’ll get those pictures.) I won’t be posting any pictures of the students in the classes because I don’t have signed waivers, but Cooking Matters does, so my pictures might be used for their website. In fact, one of my photos was used for a blog post over at the Cooking Matters St. Louis blog. (Not one of my best, but it was an action shot with a small pocket camera, so oh well.) I’ve offered to write a blog entry for them, so I’ll be sure to share when I do. The pictures will also be shared with the schools and sites that hosted the classes for their use.
However, I do have some pictures of food for you to enjoy! In one of the classes, we made Turkey Chili with Vegetables and Chocolate Cake (which was vegan!) It was a cold day so the chili was greatly enjoyed by everyone and of course, everyone loved the cake. While the chili was simmering and the cake was baking, I led everyone in some easy chair and soup can exercises. I’ve linked to the chili and cake recipes if you’re interested in trying them yourself.
In one of the classes where I couldn’t take pictures, we made Sweet Potato Quesadillas. We were working with first through third graders at one of the local schools. The children have been working in a school garden and had just harvested sweet potatoes, so we wanted to make sure we used sweet potatoes in our recipe. We had the children help us out by doing things like stirring, pouring, peeling, and measuring. Remember, getting your children involved in meal prep is an excellent way to instill good eating habits. While the quesadillas were cooking, I led the children in activities focusing on MyPlate and eating a variety of colors when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
In the post at the Cooking Matters St. Louis blog that used the picture I took, you can read about the Baked Flaked Chicken and the Chicken Broccoli Fettucine that the students made. There was a little mishap with the pasta, which amused the instructors. You can read about it at the Cooking Matters St. Louis blog.
Next week, I’ll actually be leading three classes and demos with some of the Cooking Matters instructors as my assistants. I’ve had to pick the recipes already and come up with outlines for two of the presentations, just to make sure I’ll be good on time and to list out key points I’ll need to touch on during each presentation. Normally, I get nervous before presentations, but right now I feel pretty good. Here’s hoping I don’t set anything on fire during my presentations!