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Science Fridays and Good Cooking

What’s new at YouthWork&Learn at Smokey House? Our schedule this year includes science activities in the morning, followed by lunch with home-made dishes using vegetables and herbs from our garden.

IMG_1517 For science, we started with a field study where the students compared and contrasted seeds from native Vermont plants.Our second focus was current electricity, including experiments with batteries, light bulbs, wire, and measurement, with emphasis on photovoltaic (PV) energy. IMG_1487Our life science strand provided students an opportunity to observe behaviors within a population of Tenebrio beetles (mealworms) during their four stage metamorphic cycle.  Students are monitoring these cycles and experimenting with the effects of light and darkness on the beetles. In the kitcheIMG_1715n this fall we’ve made:  pesto, caprese salad, pizza, hummos, tabbouleh, lentil-rice soup, tomato sauce, apple butter, cider, leek and potato soup, focaccia, frittatas, oven-roasted potatoes with scrambled eggs, pumpkin bread, apple crisp, chili, cornbread, and apple cake.  Yum!

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First Quarter Project Presentations – YWL at Smokey House

At the IMG_1752end of the first quarter, we shared our progress with parents and teachers.  After a delicious lunch (prepared by students, of course), each student gave a talk, with PowerPoint, about his project work during the first quarter.  Here are excerpts from two of the presentations:

IMG_1525From Lucas (culinary):  “We were harvesting stuff in the garden and decided we had too many tomatoes.  Juanita and I didn’t want our tomatoes to rot, so we cooked them down to make a sauce.  First I cut up garlic.  Then I cut up onion and put it in the pan with olive oil.  Then I cut up the tomatoes, big red tomatoes and little cherry tomatoes.  Then we put it on high heat, smashed them down in the pot, and cooked it until it boiled and turned to mushy sauce.  Then without Juanita looking, as a prank, I put in part of a hot cayenne pepper.  It would have been funny to get the taste buds tingling.  I knew I wasn’t putting enough in to wreck it.  I was surprised that Juanita could taste it, because I didn’t put in a lot.  We had a good laugh.”

 

IMG_1513From Scott (woodshop wall):  “The back wall on the barn was rotted.  When we talked about projects, I said that I wanted to fix the wall. We talked with Jesse [SHC executive director], and he said it would be a good project.  First we measured how long the wall was, how high it was, and calculated for trim, overhang, siding and roofing.  Next, we called LaValley’s to price out all the materials needed…The total price for all the materials was $875.  We took this price to Jesse and he said “Go ahead, order it!”

woodshopFrom the start, we knew the project would take a month or two.  We knew ripping everything off would only take a day or two.  The ordered materials came in just over one weekend, so it’s just the labor that can take awhile.  It has taken a bit longer because we haven’t been able to work on it consistently.  When we started actually working on the wall, we realized there was more rotted wood than we thought.  We also realized the reason a lot of it had rotted was because there was no overhang.  So first, we had to rip all of the clapboards and the rotted wood off of the wall….”

Other projects included making raised beds for the garden, clearing and marking trails, and researching raising pigs vs. cows.

Our quarter two presentations are scheduled for Friday, January 16.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu at Smokey House

IMG_0224He was boasting about his grandmother’s Chicken Cordon Bleu, and when he told us he would make it for us one day, we took him at his word.  Lucas wrote out the recipe, and I bought the ingredients.  Then, on a morning when we had multiple projects going, Lucas became head chef.  I assisted, and other students floated in and out of the kitchen to help pound  chicken breasts with a maul, or season the bread crumbs, or just snag a piece of cheese and chat.

Lucas himself wrote: Today at Smokey House I made chicken cordon bleu. It was easy to make. At first I thought it was gonna taste pretty weird because we had different ingredients than how I’m used to making it but it ended up tasting great.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • Ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Organic chicken Breast
  • Eggs
  • Bread crumbs
  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Olive oil

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  • Pound the chicken breast to flatten it.
  • Roll up the chicken breast with the Swiss cheese and ham.IMG_0217
  • Then beat eggs.
  • Dip it in the egg batter then roll them around the bread crumbs.
  • Cook it until it’s brown in a frying pan with olive oil.
  • Put the cooked chicken in the baking dish.
  • Pour cream of mushroom soup over the chicken in a baking dish.
  • Then put it in the oven at 425 till the cream of mushroom soup is hot take it out.