Monday, April 24, 2017

Healthy Harlem

Gardening Season is Here!!! 
Come Visit Us
35 East 125th Street, 5th Floor Patio
If you have any questions or would like to arrange a class visit please send an email to Ariel Seligson:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

During the Spring Break, the kitchen team took the opportunity to do some activities to strengthen our team work. Over the week we reviewed what it meant to utilize team work, to be held accountable for your actions, and to be mindful of your surroundings. Together we learned about D.D.P. Drive Determination and Perseverance.

Last week we also had a lot of fun doing the Food Truck Challenge featuring Mexican food! We split into teams and had to design food trucks, create a menu using the ingredients found in work stations in the kitchen and create a marketing campaign for the food truck. Take a look at our Food Trucks!!

Tre's Taco Food Truck
Los Tres Tacos Food Truck

Nacho Mama's Food Truck

Our Judges!!
On the left we have, Matt Marcus,
Dr.Joseph Cordero principle of PA 1 Upper Elementary


We would be happy to assist any departments with creating their own Food Truck Challenge. 

Today is National Garlic Day!!

There are over 300 varieties of garlic known throughout the world. Some of the most popular types are Turban garlic, Asiatic garlic, Rocambole garlic and Porcelain garlic. Each different type of garlic has different shapes and tastes. Asiatic garlic has 8-12 cloves per bulb as opposed to Turban garlic which has 5-8 cloves per bulb. 

Garlic is not only a great herb used for cooking, it also has many health benefits. Garlic applied on wounds can heal them faster. During World War I, this healing quality of garlic was used extensively by British soldiers. This exotic herb advocated as health benefiting food for its anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and immune boosting and cholesterol-lowering properties. Garlic dates back more than 5,000 years ago. In ancient Greece, brides carried bouquets of herbs and garlic, not flowers. Ancient Egyptians even used garlic as a form of currency.

Try this recipe to celebrate Garlic Day!

Cauliflower Soup with Toasted Garlic

3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small head cauliflower, chopped

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
kosher salt and black pepper

Cook the garlic in the oil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes; remove and reserve the garlic.
To the pot, add the cauliflower, chicken broth, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Top with the garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and additional thyme before serving.

Fun Fact: The city of Chicago is named after garlic. 'Chicagaoua' was the Indian word for wild garlic.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April Holidays and their Culinary Traditions

Easter is a religious holiday that celebrates Jesus resurrecting from the dead, 3 days after his crucifixion by the Romans. Passover is the Jewish  spring festival that commemorates the liberation of the Israelite's from Egyptian slavery, lasting seven or eight days. A traditional Easter dinner may have lamb, eggs, ham and cake or bread. A traditional Passover dinner will include wine, bread and gefilte fish. These foods all symbolize something much more than just Sunday dinner. Lamb is used as a religious symbol for Jesus and sacrifice. Since Jesus is commonly referred to as the Lamb of God. 

Red wine is consumed 4 times during 4 different moments during Passover dinner. This tradition happens for a few reasons. Red wine is shared in order to commemorate important religious moments.

Eggs symbolize rebirth, fertility and rejuvenation, so finding eggs were seen as good luck. When hens are unconfined they deposit their eggs in unexpected places. To find such a hidden nest before a hen has started to set and incubate the eggs is a perfect analogy to finding hidden treasure.

A roasted bone, hard boiled egg, horseradish root, a mix of chopped walnuts, apple and red wine, a slice of onion or boiled potato and a piece of romaine lettuce are placed on a Seder plate. The Seder plate is used as a setting for the these special foods. These food hold a great amount of religious meaning. Passover is about much more than just food, it's also about telling a story and sharing a history. 

Ham, with its rich, delicious fattiness has come to symbolize wealth and prosperity. It’s also said that ham is served because the days before refrigeration or canning to preserve foods, livestock was slaughtered in the fall. The fresh pork that wasn’t consumed during the late fall and throughout the winter months was “cured” for consumption in the spring. The curing process took several months, and the first hams were ready in the early spring.

Bread is meant to symbolize fertility. An example of bread made for the Easter holiday is Hot Cross Buns. English folklore says that Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday would never spoil throughout the following year. Some bakers believed that holding on to one Hot Cross Bun and hanging it in the kitchen meant that all yeast products in the coming year would rise successfully.