Posted April 5, 2011
This week, as Martin Luther King Middle School heads off for spring break and the staff of the Edible Schoolyard takes to the road or enjoys a stay-cation, we wanted to welcome a new voice to the Journal. Griselda Cooney is a much-loved Edible Schoolyard Kitchen volunteer. Every Thursday morning, Griselda arrives at ESY bright-eyed and ready to go. She has a wonderful rapport with the students, can lead a terrific chef's meeting, and is a great cook to boot. When we heard about the cooking classes Griselda was offering in her own home, we knew we wanted to spread the word. Here is Griselda's Journal Entry for the week:
Bringing the Edible Schoolyard Home
This is my third year volunteering in the kitchen at the Edible Schoolyard, and my first year offering cooking classes of my own. When I signed up to volunteer, I had no idea how this experience was going to impact my life.
I am a mother of three children – a freshman at Berkeley High School, a 7th-grader here at King, and a kindergartner at Jefferson. As you can imagine I am very busy, but I always make the time to help out at my kid’s schools.
Due to my work schedule, I always volunteer in 1st period class. Most of the time the students walk in yawning, not fully awake. Some say hello, while others just want to know what they are cooking. They wash their hands and sit at the chef’s table to listen to Ms. Cook go over the day’s recipe.
As the kids slowly move to their assigned tables to start cooking, they begin to wake up. Once we start chopping, slicing, mixing and cooking together, something unexplainable and almost magical happens. We all start to laugh, joke, and talk about life. The kids always teach me something new.
From my experiences in the kitchen, I wanted to share with others what I have learned at ESY. So, I started holding cooking classes at my house once a month. My first class was March 20th. I made copies of two recipes from ESY - pumpkin curry with brown rice and chai tea. At my first cooking class, I talked about the Edible Schoolyard program and why I decided to start my own cooking classes. There were a total of seventeen people who attended that first class, and everyone participated in the preparation and cooking. Even my 5-year-old son, my 7-year-old nephew, and my 6-year-old niece helped with chopping and stirring.
We set the table and sat together to enjoy our yummy lunch of pumpkin curry, brown rice and chai tea. We laughed, joked and mainly enjoyed each other’s company. In a lot of ways, it was just like my morning classes at the Edible Schoolyard. When I started volunteering three years ago, I never could have anticipated that my own kitchen would come to be a little Edible Schoolyard itself.
Ready for class
Griselda's cooking class