Month: January 2012

Sweet Potato Pancakes

The Lower Elementary students made these pancakes from their sweet potato harvest.They got to work on their measuring skills, grinding skills, and flipping skills! They also learned how to make fresh whipped cream. 3/4 lb. mashed sweet potatoes 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 2 eggs, beaten 4 1/2 cups milk 1/4 cup melted butter

Wish Soup

We made this soup in our last primary gardening class of 2011. Students made wishes as they tore Red Russian Kale leaves into small pieces. They then added their “wishes” to the soup. We warned them however that once in the pot, all of the wishes would mix and they might end up with someone else’s wish! Unicorn, rainbow, hug soup! Irish Potatoes Water Vegetarian Bouillon Butter Milk Kale

Sweet Potato Biscuits and Cinnamon Butter

We worked in stations for this activity with the primary students. Some ground flour from wheat berries with the grain grinder, some “churned” or shook heavy cream to make butter, and some mixed ingredients and rolled out dough.  We had a VERY successful sweet potato harvest this year so of course we enjoyed multiple sweet potato creations, this being one: 1 1/2 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes 1/4 cup sugar 5 tsp/ baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup butter 2 cups flour 3 tbsp. buttermilk 1 tbsp maple syrup Mix, knead, roll out with pin, cut and bake @ 425 until golden brown on top. For the butter, we put heavy whipping cream in a half pint mason jar, with a clean penny, some sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. We shook and shook and shook until it turned into butter. (The fat globules clump and first turn to whipped cream, and eventually the air is forced out and  one large fat cluster is formed.) We used the separated buttermilk in the …

Persimmon Pudding

This recipe is my grandmothers, ripe with fall memories and the scent of warm air, spices, and all things good. While we have Asian Persimmons in the Gardens, this recipe is made with American Persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) which have a wonderful autumn flavor. Take care though – it is best to pick these after they have fallen to the ground, otherwise they are likely to turn your mouth inside out. Ingredients: 2 cups persimmon pulp 3 eggs, beaten 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup melted butter 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground allspice 1 tsp. vanilla Primary students helped to wash the persimmons, remove caps, and put them in a food mill  to mash and separate the seeds from the pulp. They enjoyed seeing the bright orange pulp squeeze out of the fruit. Add remaining ingredients to 2 cups of pulp and mix well.  Pour into greased 9 x 9 baking dish and bake at 350 for one hour. Do not overcook!

Fresh Basil Pesto

Who doesn’t love pesto? We make it often and this batch was made right in the garden on a beautiful end of summer day. The students got to practice their harvesting skills, measuring skills, and learned how to “garble” leaves for this process (remove the leaves from the stems.) Here’s our recipe: 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds (what we use!) 3 medium sized garlic cloves Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fig Newtons

Every little kid has eaten fig newtons right? In this gardening class we experienced making our own “homemade” fig newtons. We experienced the texture of dough,  how to use a rolling pin, and we talked about where each of our ingredients came from. Students used the grain grinder to make flour for this lesson and learned that cinnamon comes from the inner bark of trees in the Cinnamomum genus! We made these on a cold rainy day in the fall. The fig and ginger preserves were made in advance. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ After mixing all of the ingredients and forming a ball, students rolled the dough out into one long rectangle. They then spread the fig preserves on one half of the rectangle. We folded it in half, cut the newtons, baked them for 20 minutes at 350° and voila!