Happy Easter!

Taiwan is not a Christian country, less than 5% of the population identifies as Christian, so we made our own celebration.  Vickey invited us to a special Easter dinner at a very nice restaurant/art museum.

The food was elegantly served.

Easter 005

The wait staff was very friendly and helpful, and spoke English.

Easter 012

And we were all delighted with our specially decorated dessert plates.

Easter 013

Happy Easter!

Easter 010

 

Supplying the Kitchen

Two classes and two clubs chew through large quantities of raw ingredients in a week.  One of the biggest challenges I’ve had in cooking class is keeping the kitchen stocked.  The high school seems to inhale bacon and the 5th grade just scarfed a large jar of peanut butter.  To complicate matters, my recipes are almost all American ones, using butter, milk, and cheese on a scale unusual here.  I’m trying very hard to keep my school shopping to once a week.

Imagine my delight at finding a restaurant supply store not too far from our apartment.   Giant jars of peanut butter!  Big slabs of chocolate!  Italian and French and Mexican ingredients!  Dill pickles!

bbq 020

It made me very happy.  We might need to go back tonight.

Using the Kitchen

The recent barbecue is not the only extra-curricular activity the school kitchen has seen.   Earth science has found a real affinity for the kitchen.  The sedimentary cookies (with oatmeal, raisins, and chocolate chunks) worked well but the igneous fudge was only a success from a science lesson standpoint. The fudge never did solidify.  That lava is still flowing. 

The junior girls figured out early that homemade brownies and lemon blueberry muffins could earn some tidy cash at bake sales.  They’ve had two baking sessions already.  The middle school reduced their manufacturing costs and maximized profits with their pancake sale.  The seniors better get moving soon to capture a food sales niche. 

Earlier this week the Spanish class had a quesadilla and homemade salsa lesson. 

bbq 006

Some of the leftovers found their way to the rest of the school.  There may be an after school quesadilla sale soon.

bbq 008

bbq 007

 

Excited about eating, and happy to BBQ*

It’s mid-autumn festival and time to barbeque with family and friends.

bbq 039

The students put on their annual school barbeque last night.  At AST we have students who are used to running the show.  They start in middle school with running meetings and making all announcements at weekly assemblies.  By the time they get to high school they organize complicated events with ease.

bbq 030

I was chaperoning the kitchen activity for the barbeque. All I really needed to do was answer questions about where to find the pots and pans. The students prepped mountains of vegetables, cooked a Taiwanese barbeque, and cleaned up beautifully.  (except for some spills in the new oven which I want to take care of – anyone have good oven cleaning suggestions?)

bbq 032

Some of the food was unfamiliar to me like these mushrooms and a cross between a gourd, melon, and cucumber.

bbq 035

Baby corn is almost all husks and corn silk, doesn’t really seem worth the effort.

bbq 025

The outer layer of the bamboo (?) is peeled and you eat the tender inner bit.

bbq 026

No one could quite agree on what these cakes were made of….maybe very mild fish?  But everyone agreed they were tasty and well worth eating.

bbq 028

Lots and lots of volunteers in the kitchen. For some reason the tiny bright pink bunny apron is most popular with the biggest guys.  They run to be the first to get to it.  Seriously.  Every class.

bbq 037

The barbecue also included a volleyball tournament in the (air conditioned!) gym and a movie for those who were feeling less energetic.  By the time the late bus left at 7:30 that night the high school students were playing very informal volleyball (some of the players switched sides as needed and there was always a helping hand for a serve that wasn’t going to make it over the net), others were playing basketball, and the sixth graders were taking notes on how they were going to be the big kids one day.

Magic.

*the school slogan is “Excited about learning, and happy to be here”  but one of the posters for the barbeque had this version