So, yknow, work. It’s a little crazy. Someone peed on the stairs last Wednesday (and we don’t actually know who, which is a bit unsettling).
On a more positive note, I’ve been continuing the cooking projects with them. My five (!) loaf pans made a reappearance.
The mission of the day was apple bread. Why? Because we’d already done banana bread, and the food bank had sent apples that week. Bread is nice because we can divide the kids into tables and then each table can make their own individual loaves, and then everyone gets a job. (It’s important that everyone gets a job, since otherwise the default job is whiner. About not having a job it’s so unfair.)
Rather than having the kids measure everything (which would cause the project to take about four hours, if they finished, which they wouldn’t have since they have the attention spans of fruit flies), I premeasured dry ingredients and wet ingredients:
Flour, baking soda and powder, sugar and salt in the big bowl. Milk in the small. Also pre-diced apples (the thought of certain of these kids with knives is sobering). Had them add the spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) to the dry ingredients so everyone could smell them. Then had them add the oil to the milk so they could make predictions whether it’d dissolve.
Aw man! No eggs! But, randomly, in the fridge stocked with food we get from the food bank:
Probably my crazy boss. She grinds her own kamut to make flour.
Anyway, introduced the kids to the idea of a “flax egg”. They found it… mildly interesting?
So there it was, beautifully laid out in the snack room, a place for everything and everything in its place.
Lest I have failed to impress you with my incredible organization, there are forty kids total, divided into two teams, so there were actually six baking groups. That is the first three, and on backup I had the premeasured ingredients for the Blue Team all set. I cannot let them catch me in a second of weakness.
Managed to miss a picture of the finished bread but it was actually pretty good!
The next day was our usual Thursday Potluck.
Erin decided the theme of the week was fiesta. Obviously, that meant putting on sombreros and having a dance party in my kitchen.
At any quality South-of-the-border themed potluck, there obviously have to be lots of chips (and lots of things to dip them into).
Which there definitely was. Erin dips the fabulous guacamole (made by Patricia, the awesome new hire at work and addition to our potlucking group) and you can also see the VAT of homemade pico de gallo made by Steve.
Obviously there were festive beverages too. Was heartbroken to finish off the last of the Sinless Margarita mix. That stuff is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wonderful.
But I gotta say, the piece de resistance (how would one say that in Spanish?) was my sweet potato enchiladas. Oh yes.
Step 1: Sautee one bell pepper and half a large onion in a tablespoon or so of oil.
Step 2: Add 2 peeled chunked sweet potatoes and lots and lots of cinnamon and a bit of cumin:
Step 3: Shortcuts! 1 can corn, some Pace salsa (sent to me free as part of the Foodbuzz tastemaker program; have only added it to things thus far, so can’t make any real comments on its quality yet).
Added the corn, mostly drained, 3/4 a cup or so of the salsa, and 1/4 cup or so of water, then covered it all up and let the sweet potatoes steam until fork tender.
Filling complete! And succulent :D
The sauce you’re on your own. A few days prior to potluck when I had a bit more time I cooked up in a bit of oil some minced onion and minced chipotle. Also added some adobo sauce, a fresh tomato, and some ketchup for sweet and sourness. Seasonings of lotsa cumin and bits of chili powder and cinnamon.
Potluck night I reheated it and then added smore of the Pace salsa cause I wasn’t sure there’d be enough, then smore ketchup cause it seemed too spicy. Immersion blended and it was silken loveliness.
Micro’d tortillas, filled ‘em with sweet tater filling, spooned on sauce, and sprinkled with cheese. Baked just til the cheese melted.
Served with Carolyn’s homemade patatas bravas! (Potatoes on the left, homemade sauce on the right. She said it was tomato-paste-heavy and weird. I found it scrumpsh).
A little more coworker love!
We take the kids to a haunted house put on by a local college for Halloween. We all dressed up :D
I was a raccoon (though all the kids just thought I was a cat. I did make my eyes black, and wore a tail of two black leg warmers tied together with duct tape gray stripes, but whatever).
Joslynn wore Erin’s elephant hat!
Actually, Erin, along with a multitude of sombreros (see above) actually has two elephant costumes, so Patricia got to get in on the fun too.
Our awesome supervisor Katie was brilliantly the Science Fair-y (that is the periodic table of the elements on her shirt. I helped right E equals MC squared on her face).
And ladies, you’re welcome…
Kyle the construction worker:
Steve was a sailor and I was hoping to get a shot of the two of them together at the haunted house- i.e. a Village People Reunion!- but I was sort of overwhelmed there due to frightened and crying children clinging to me. C’est la vie.