[slideshow]Last month, RootDown LA Youth Coordinator, Warren Calvo, connected with his good friend, Christina Tam of the Braille Institute, to bring our youth together to do what else? Cook some nasty veggies!
Warren brought in heaps of produce for the kids to touch, smell, cook and taste. Varieties of veggies whose names we knew and guessed - Black, Red Russian, Common Curly, and Siberian Dwarf Kale (who knew Kale grew in Sibera?) There were Oyster, Shiitake and Portobello mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos and three kinds of potatoes (one Purple Hawaiian) that got fried, sauteed and mashed.
To top it off, (as if taking RootDown's simple ABCGS2 cooking techniques to these seasonal veggies isn't enough?) when we want to get kids really hooked on new flavors and asking for these same fresh foods at home, we break out the herbs, full of smell and flavor - Mint, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary and Dill - YUM!
Christine wrote back after two such cooking sessions with her youth:
"The cooking skills you impart with the students at Jefferson really shines through as they interact as youth leaders with confidence and comeraderie in this community. There is a sense of communal responsibility and pride that is reflected in your students as they share the art of cooking with their peers. It was moving to see the two groups work together to create wholesome and delicious meals together from fresh ingredients, organic vegetables and herbs. Thank you for giving our visually impaired and blind kids from Braille Institute an experience of meeting new friends and learning how to cook in a fun environment! Our students look forward to working on more sustainable community projects with Root Down LA!"