Bringing in the New Year

This post is part wrap up of the culinary class at our school brunch just before Christmas, thoughts about the new year and Twelfth Night, and special gifts and great ideas.

the last day of school before the holiday break brings our Christmas Brunch, all students come, the meal and festivities are free. We usually serve ham, cinnamon rolls, a huge array of fresh fruits, hot cocoa, milk, and juices. We usually give out mini candy canes to the elementary, and there is a bunch of card giving from the older grades. Our superintendent usually gives out presents to all staff. In the past we have received fuzzy vests or jackets with the school logo. This year we received stadium blankets for those cold football and soccer games. My students usually spend the morning with the kitchen staff cutting up fruit, icing cinnamon rolls and serving on the line. they seem to really enjoy this kind of holiday “work”. Have you noticed that teenagers tend to not want to be placed in a setting where they have to “serve” their peers? This time of year that changes in a big way for most of my class. but they wouldn’t do this every day.

One of my students in Creative Foods gave me some paperwhite bulbs for Christmas. It is really special to receive gifts from teenagers. That doesn’t happen for me very often. I am too tough! Here are the paperwhites! Thank you so much B.G.

One of our last projects for completing the first semester of Culinary Arts is the demonstration benchmark. Each student picks a recipe, works up a shopping list, and then demonstrates the item in front of peers, talking as they work, giving out the recipe, which the students must write down as though they are going to make the item from what they write down. The students add interesting bits of history or culture or family lore that are pertinent to the recipe. They can make almost anything they want: time and cost are the main factors, and the recipe needs a certain level of complication.

Here is one students yummy ricotta cheese, garlic, parsley and basil dip plus his homemade sweet potato and russet potato chips. He did an excellent job using a mandoline and keeping the oil at the correct temperature.

As Twelfth Night approached I did some writing for friends. I like to think of Twelfth Night, the night the Magi came to find baby Jesus, as a time to reflect on how at any given moment we can decide that the world can change for us, or that the world is changing and that we can be part of a new way of being and living. So I channel these prompts or favors, or fortunes, perhaps they are even instructions……I never know. These are printed on colored paper and wrapped with a bit of ribbon. Each friend can pick one. I believe we pick the right one always. Here are a few of the “instructions”….

Expect clarity 2010

Expect greater understanding of yourself and others this year. Relationships will flourish if you simply spend more time with those you treasure. Your color is sky blue. Hike to a mountain lake and jump in to restore your vision. Take a nap under an azure quilt with faith and make a life long friend. when doubt complains be kind.

If confusion follows you around for long buy a sketchbook and draw your feet every day until they walk off the page.

How to live with faith in 2010

Remember that faith is different than dogma and needs no rules or laws to have effect. Faith is best friends with understanding and vision who are waiting to meet you. Your color is pure silver because silver shimmers in the presence of faith. Wear silver rings. Light candles in silver candlesticks. Take believing in what you see and know to a deeper level. Please do not confuse faith with naivety.

You are The serpent in 2010

You are constantly changing to meet the needs of situations and people. This year your work and play involves constancy with your ideals, love and family. You will find that what please you pleases all. Your color is the deep green of moss. Your sound is the wind rushing through the tall douglas fir. Climb the tree and build your dreaming house there. Wisdom will meet you there.

Oh, lucky one! Courage is coming to meet you in 2010. Perhaps you should take that first aid class. You have already prepared yourself by learning how to pray and committing to staying in one place, growing roots. You will become very comfortable with a certain helpful solitude. Please do not confuse this with loneliness for you are far from that malady. You will be attracted to red spray paint and big felt tip pens. Be sure to wear red socks…….and lipstick!

Ride with joy in 2010

This is the year for you to gather all the gratitude you have been feeling and cash it in for the pay off called joy. Joy shows up when your heart is brimming over. This makes you cousin to songbirds and second graders. This is the year for dancing lessons and yellow pillows, scarves and cars. You are younger than you think. Joy is contagious so share it, especially with those who haven’t caught on about gratitude.

so which one would you pick?


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