Sunday, June 3, 2012

Earth to Table food program

Stephen with Dwane MacIsaac at Moss
Street Market 
Last night Stephen finished the Earth to Table food program for youth organized by Leadership Victoria and held at the Burnside Gorge Community Centre.   It ran for six weeks for an hour and half on Fridays from 5 to 6:30 pm.  Officially Stephen was too young to take part, the ages were 12-16 and Stephen will not be 12 till the end of July, but he is keen on cooking and he got the last slot.

Stephen loves to cook and especially loved the baking aspect.  He is constantly amazed at how easy most things are to make and wonders why most adults can not make them.

The program was offered for free and one of those things that sometimes happens when something is free occurred -  people do not value it.   Of the eight youth that signed up, only Stephen came to most of the sessions.  Two other youth came to most of them as well, but they were not signed up for it and were recruited on the spot in the BGCC..   Effectively seven of the youth that were signed up for the amazing course did not take part in it.

The first night the youth learned about growing food and where food comes from in the world.  They did some plantings at the Burnside Gorge Community Centre.   The BGCC has some interesting herd gardens going on and some veggie garden boxes as well.

The second week was a trip to the Quadra Burnside where they learned about various Asian veggies and then had a food scavenger hunt in the store.   They were also fed from the Chinese food restaurant part of the store.

The third week they made sushi at the BGCC.  Stephen could not remember which sush restaurant the cehf was from.

On the long weekend we always go to Western Half Yearly Meeting of the Quakers in Sorrento, so Stephen missed the pizza making evening.

The fifth week was baking and they made cupcakes at the BGCC.  They also planted some herbs at the BGCC.  Stephen actually managed to make it home with some cupcakes for others in the family to try.  Baking is Stephen's thing.

Stephen and his gifts
Friday night they went to Cook Culture and he did not get home till 7:30 though he came home bearing an armful of gifts.   Dwane MacIssac of Passioneat Foods, and current president of the ICC, organized the night teaching the youth how to make pulled pork tacos and touring through a proper commercial kitchen.    The Island Chef's Collaborative supplied gifts for the youth that took part.  Stephen came home with high quality kitchen cooking utensils that 9 out of 10 home kitchens are not likely to have.   He got about $150 in gifts and a one month transit pass.

Stephen was impressed with Dwane and pointed out several times Friday night that he would be at the Moss Street Market and offered him a free pizza if he showed up.   I took Stephen and Max to the Moss Street Market, the first time I had been in there in six or seven years, the last time I was there I was running a friend's stall on a week she could not go.

Stephen got there and ordered his pizza from Dwane.   He also gave Dwane a 250 ml jar of his low sugar blueberry jam and told him in a meek voice, which is odd for Stephen, that he sold jam.  Stephen's jam is very good and sells very well - he uses my recipes.
Stephen watching Dwane's mobile oven

Stephen got his pizza and oddly enough did not offer to share it with me.

Earth to Table is something that I very much believe in.   I think it is very important for people to understand where their food comes from and what it takes to make it.   The boys have seen us have chickens, make pasta, make kefir, can all manner of stuff, make pulled pork that is better than what you can normally get in this town and more.   They have lived Earth to Table.

Island Parent has a piece about the program in the June 2012 edition.
Pic from Island Parent
Stephen is in brown

Stephen loved every minute of the course and would take part in it again ASAP.   It has also inspired him to cook more.  He has already made crepes twice with two different recipes - one a from the Joy of Cooking and the other from a cook book on French cooking techniques, the one in the Joy is much better.  He has also made a lemon/chocolate marble cake loaf.   He loved being able to use "his" tools.

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