Veggie Stir-fry, Mexican Salsa, Sushi, Bowtie Pasta, Spring rolls, and Baked potatoes! Every Wednesday in July from 3-5 PM, a culinary theme was chosen and three dishes made. Twenty to thirty youth, parents, and volunteers came together to harvest, prepare, and serve delicious, nutritious and healthy meals which we sat down and enjoyed together.
Each week youth harvested different vegetables from the Koshland Community Garden, including greens, lettuce, salad fixings, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, and potatoes, and transported them across the street to the Hayes Valley Apartments Community Room. There, after washing hands and putting on aprons, the youth washed and chopped vegetables, rolled out dough, or cooked rice to make a meal.
One of the most exciting days was the making of sushi. Perhaps after a class at William-Sonoma or Sur La Table, making sushi would still be a daunting task. How could we teach kids to make sushi? What about the bamboo mats, the special techniques, the chopsticks? How could we do it? Well, it was so easy! And so much fun! We didn’t even use bamboo rolling mats, we place the nori on the table, spooned out some rice on the bottom, added strips of our favorite veggies we had sliced beforehand, and roll them up and sealed. Then we cut the rolls into bite-size pieces. They were delicious. Everyone got excited about making as many as possible. Another successful, fun time.
The next week youth rolled out dough to make bow-tie pasta. It was a great workout, as the dough needed to be paper thin. Then they pinched the edges together to make bow-ties. We made an amazing tomato sauce with zucchini, and onions. Heated bread and grated cheese rounded off a very satisfying meal.
Spring rolls were another surprising success. Who would have thought we could make spring rolls? So easy. Soak the round wafers in water, place soft white rice noddles and strips of veggies, then roll up and seal like tortillas. So healthy and delicious.
We are thrilled to have such a great partnership with Hayes Valley Apartments who have allowed us free range of their kitchen and community room for the past five years. We also appreciate all the youth organizations that participated with the youth in the neighborhood, including the African American Arts and Culture Center, the YMCA and the Hayes Valley Youth Center.