Cooking Camp for Powhatan a Success!

Off to Visit the Farm at Smith Meadows

Off to Visit the Farm at Smith Meadows

This year from June 20-24 Smith Meadows Kitchen hosted a cooking camp via Powhatan School.  Kimber Herron and Nancy Polo taught a class of 13 students how to cook a variety of dishes that incorporated fresh ingredients from the farm, as well as fresh produce from farmers’ markets in the DC food shed.  Here is a brief description of our week:

Monday:
Kitchen Safety
The Incredible Egg– How to poach, fry, make custard and more, How to make a salad
Tuesday:
Bread, Focaccia, Sweet Rolls, The Five Tastes– exploring our palette, More salad
Wednesday:
Pasta Challenge– match the word with the shape, Invent your own shape and sauce
Roasted carrots, Yogurt & fruit smoothie
Thursday:
Grilling: What happens when I grill…, Dry vs Wet Marinade, Various veggie grill
Home-made lemonade popsicles
Friday:
Buckwheat Crepe Inventions, Savory and Sweet– create your own combinations
Home-made ice cream

Students also had the opportunity to explore the farm where we collected eggs from our chickens on pasture.  On Wednesday the students watched the cattle and sheep being moved from their old pasture onto fresh grass.  As the farm apprentices stopped to make sure all the lambs got across, we had a chance to pet some cute and wooly critters.

Powhatan Campers Petting Smith Meadows Lambs

Powhatan Campers Petting Smith Meadows Lambs

It was truly a hands on experience for the campers.  From bread & pasta dough to dry and wet marinades, the measuring cups and utensils were almost entirely in their hands as they explored.  We encouraged campers to try everything– even grilled mushrooms and bitter lettuce from the garden.  The challenge was to be creative with whatever was at hand.  The most popular creations by far were the home-made lemon & blueberry popsicles, as well as the hand cranked vanilla ice cream. They loved collecting the eggs and picking mulberries to add to recipes.  Almost everyday campers would congregate under the old mulberry tree behind the kitchen.  The most unusual recipe we invented was smoked hard boiled eggs wrapped in flaky pie crust.
Collecting Eggs from the Chicken Coop at Smith Meadows

Collecting Eggs from the Chicken Coop at Smith Meadows

The camp was such a hit that not only will we be hosting it again next year, but we are also planning classes for adult groups throughout the year.  We have created a series of classes that cover a variety of topics including: making stock, Thai chicken soup, home made pasta and sauce, how to plant a kitchen garden and planning a healthy menu.  Stay tuned for our schedule and prices on our website.  The information page on classes should be complete by August.  For now check out pictures of our Camp on the slide show included on this post.

Nancy is a first generation Italian-American who makes good food and thinks about it. She has lived on this farm since 1998.

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