The first class of the term began Tuesday, 10/18th.  Students arrived eager and serious about learning.   After introductions and a review of the My Family Kitchen’s goals and  guidelines for classroom behavior, attention focused on the week’s recipe, Open-faced Tuna Melt.

 Reading the recipe, an essential skill for successful cooking, was the first order of business.  Following a short explanation of the organization of a recipe, students took turns reading the recipe ingredients and instructions while the teachers pointed out the corresponding food items and cooking equipment.

Teachers thought it timely to introduce the concept of mis en place – an approach to efficient cooking involving lining up the recipe ingredients, prepped and ready for cooking, as well as necessary utensils and equipment before starting to cook.

Following an introduction to safe use of knives, the class got busy chopping, dicing, measuring and grating to ready the recipe components for mixing, then apportioning on toasted English muffins and, finally, baking.  As students worked, subdued quiet turned into excited buzz.  One student declared– and others agreed– “Cooking is fun!”

While baking proceeded, some students began cleanup while others set the table for dinner with a table cloth, dishware and cutlery.  Surprisingly, members of the class had never eaten tuna!  Their home cuisines don’t include tuna.  Once served, feedback on the tuna melts was mixed.  Some didn’t like the taste of the tuna and others are not cheese fans.  One student, Peter Do, was thoroughly pleased and described how the recipe ingredients, when baked, “melded into a savory flavor treat”.  Broadening students’ openness to new eating experiences will be a priority goal for future classes.

Finally, the teachers endorsed the value of the open-faced variety of sandwich since it is easy to put together  and quite versatile as a breakfast, lunch or dinner option.   Cooks can be creative with ingredients, including using left-overs.  When asked for ideas, one student, Kayla Garrott, thought of a sweet nutella and fresh strawberries sandwich—-an open-faced dessert!