The students who made the Bisque had an interesting time removing the meat from the Crab. Fortunately, the Crabs were purchased cooked, so we didn’t have to deal with live crabs.
The Crab Bisque and Crab Sandwiches represented the state of Alaska. Unfortunately, when we were in Alaska, the restaurants that we ate at had no King Crab available. Evidently, most of it is shipped down to the lower 48. We never seem to have trouble getting it here in California.
The Mushroom /Potato Soup and the Potato/Cheese Spoon Bread were representative of the state of Idaho which everyone knows is famous for their spuds. Spoon Bread is more a casserole than bread and is served as a side dish and of course is dished out with a large spoon.
The salads were the Corn Relish and Cucumber/Sour Cream Salad. Oregon was represented with the Oregon/Blueberry Rolls which are very similar to Cinnamon Rolls. We also made Ginger Snaps and Rhubarb Cake, both of which were enjoyed by the students. All the students went home with some of the baked goods as there was too much food to be eaten at one time.
Day Four was Southern Cooking and for this day the menu was Southern Fried Chicken, Chicken Fried Steak,Scalloped Potatoes, Succotash, Ambrosia,Weeping Salad, Buttermilk Biscuits, Sweet Potato Pies, Pecan Bars and Sweet Mint Tea.
The last day of camp was Pacific Rim Food and this entailed the Pacific Rim States of California and Hawaii. Unfortunately, we were short TA’s on Saturday and did not have time to take many pictures. The Menu was California Rolls, Chicken Fajitas and Hot Artichoke Dip. The Artichoke Dip represents the area of Monterey where Artichokes have been grown for a long time. Noweadays, the growing fields near the coast in Oxnard also grow Artichokes, so Monterey is no longer alone in that area.
We also made a Hawiaan Grilled Shrimp Salad that was served with a Papaya/Mango Marmalade, Oahu style Potato Salad. This Potato Salad contains bay shrimp, crab meat and corn. We also made a corn pudding. Needless to say, corn is grown in many areas in Southern California and Hawaii also grows some. We made Strawberry Pie and Macadamia Nut Brownies for dessert. For the beverage we made and served a Pineapple Punch. Strawberries are grown year-round now in California. They usually ripen in serial order from the San Diego area being the first crop on up to the Santa Maria area in Central Coast being later ones to ripen. In the Oxnard, different types are grown and one type or the other is available year round.
All in all the camps were a great success and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learned some new techniques and we hope a few facts that they can use during the school year.
The week of August 8th, 2011 was US Regional Foods Camp for the Teen/Preteens who attend the Culinary Classes at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village, CA. The camp lasted five days which included Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The time was from 11 – 2 making each camp day 3 hours long. Just long enough for the participants to learn and practice new skills without becoming too tired.
The Regions that we visited were New England, the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, the South and the Pacific Rim States.
Monday was New England and different breakfast dishes were prepared; blueberry pancakes, Johnny Cakes (or Journey Cakes), Skillet Apples, Molasses Doughnuts, Cranberry Muffins, Deviled Eggs Florentine and a Broccoli Cheese Fritatata. Since it was breakfast, the beverage that was served was milk. The Blueberry Pancakes were served with Butter and Blueberry Syrup. The Johnny Cakes were served with the Skillet Apples. The Deviled Eggs Florentine were an Appetizer and the Fritata was served with the Cramberru Muffins. The Molasses Doughnuts were dessert.
Day Two was the Midwest and luncheon items were prepared. Since the midwest is known for Beef and Corn, these items were the main focus, but not the only ones. Early in the morning before class I went out to Underwood Farms in Moorpark and purchased a box of corn. Needless to say, corn has been a mainstay of the United States, not just in the midwest but almost in every region. The box contained about 46 ears of corn and by the end of the week, most of it had been used. One of the unique things about Corn from Underwoods is that it retains its sweetness far longer than corn purchased in the supermarket.
The Appetizer was Asiago Cheese Puffs and these were passed around during prepartion time so the students wouldn’t get too hungry. The taste buds can be quickly activated when the aroma of good cooking is around. We made a Corn Chowder and Cheese Stuffed Burgers along with a Midwestern Potato Salad. The Midwestern Potato Salad is very similar to a German Potato Salad and for good reason. Back in the early days of immigration to the US from Europe many German immigrants and Scandinavians settled in the Midwest.
We also made Taffy Apple Salad, Apple Pie and Peanut Popcorn Bars. The beverage that was prepared and served was Blueberry Lemonade, which of course was very popular.
Our last day of Camp was desserts which were chosen by the students on the first day of camp. There were some interesting requests, most of which we were able to do. Two students put down vegetables on the dessert list. Not knowing whether someone was just trying to be funny or really meant it, I decided to accommodate them. Two of the desserts that we made were Carrot Cookies and Zucchini Muffins with Cream Cheese frosting.
Two other requests were Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie. I combined the two and the students made Key Lime Cheesecake. These were made in mini-tart pans that the students were able to take home. Another request was for Pie; no particular kind of pie, but just pie. I provided Peaches and Apples for the Pies and we made half and half. Half were French Apple Pies with a streusel topping and the other half were Peach Pies with a double crust.
The two favorites of the day were the Chocolate Lava Cake and Strawberry Shortcake. The Chocolate Lava Cake had a molten interior and if you like chocolate, you certainly like these. These were made in individual disposable custard tins so that they could be brought home, if so desired. No one was able to wait long enough to take them home and they were all eaten in class. Of course, they are better when they are warm and the chocolate is molten, so the students made the right choice. Of course this way, they didn’t have to share the Chocolate Lava Cakes with eager siblings.
The Strawberry Shortcake was made with an actual ‘shortcake’. That is, sweetened biscuit dough. Some of the students had never made whipped cream before and they were amazed that you could whip up cream to that wonderful consistency that whipped cream is. The students did end up taking home their Apple or Peach Pie along with Carrot Cookies and their Zucchini Muffins. A few actually had not eaten the Key Lime Cheesecake and were able to take those home as well.
All in all, it was a very sweet ending to a wonderful week of learning the basics of cooking and of being able to apply their new skills. Each of the students ended up the week with a binder packed with recipes that were used in class along with a packet of Basic Information that included Safety Guidelines, Abbreviations and Equivalents, Cooking Terms and a list of Basic Equipment needed. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to take any pictures for this class so none will be posted. For some photos of our baking camp though, you can go to our Flicker Link and there will be many up there.