I asked ten 13 year olds at their last and final class what they would say if they had to dole out advice from what they learned while at Take Back the Kitchen:
“Grapes dry into raisins because of the sun”
“Raisins help you use the bathroom”
“I learned that people from different backgrounds eat different things. For example in France they eat frogs.
“Don’t say “I hate onions or onions are nasty” say “I don’t care for onions”
“The yolk (of an egg) is the nourishment for the chick”
“I learned that cutting onions builds character”
“You need to try things 11 times before you get accustomed to it”
“If your pee is dark yellow, you don’t drink enough water”
“if you don’t chew your food well, it does not go down so well”
“Every culture is unique and special”
The Quiet One
What I like best is working with the quiet ones, teenagers who seem estranged. I give them a lot of eye contact and then I hand them responsibility when the time is right. Take Takiya. She seemed painfully shy at every class. So after a few classes I told her she was in charge of the group smoothie. She went ahead and put some ingredients in the bowl; yogurt, strawberries, peaches, honey. And she used the industrial immersion blender with care, attention, and my supervision. I asked her to taste it. She knew just where to go with it, she told me it needed more fruit, more honey, and she even said “Do you have a lemon?” and that was exactly what it needed. She tasted it again and then she eeked out a smile, I knew she was feeling pure job-satisfaction. I was impressed with the smoothie myself! I told her what an advanced palate she had. She beamed.