Standards Aligned:
Eggs and Potatoes with Homemade Ketchup and Herb Tea
Place of Learning: 
90 minutes
Grade Level: 

ESY Berkeley Teaching Staff
Edible Schoolyard Project
Berkeley, CA

In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students make potatoes, eggs, herb tea, and homemade ketchup. Students build their independence in the kitchen by deciding as a group how they will cook their potatoes, identifying and dividing cooking jobs among the group, and coordinating group timing to prepare the meal. In this lesson, every student has the opportunity to cook an egg for themselves.
Student Learning Goals & Objectives: 

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Work as a group to identify a decision-making process and make a decision that impacts the group according to that process.
  • Work as a group to coordinate the preparation of multiple recipes with a specific deadline in mind.
  • Cook an egg independently.

During this lesson, students will:

  • Work as a group to identify a process for deciding how they will cook their potatoes, and use that process to make the decision.
  • Identify a target time to be eating the meal, and coordinate the preparation of the potatoes, ketchup, tea, and eggs in order to reach that target time.
  • Cook an egg for themselves according to their own tastes.
Materials & Prep: 
For the Chef Meeting
  • Recipes 
  • Ingredients and tools for demonstration


Before you begin
  • Parboil the potatoes.
  • Prepare a batch of ketchup and allow to sit overnight
  • Heat water for tea.


  • Assorted fresh herbs for tea
  • Ladle
  • Teapots
  • Teacups
  • Hot pad 
  • Stove
  • Oven
  • Electric griddle
  • Chef’s knives
  • Paring knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Offset spatulas
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small whisks or forks 
  • Spoons (for mixing)
  • Offset spatula
  • Wooden spoons 
  • Garlic peeler
  • Nonstick pans
  • Large stockpot (for heating tea water)
  • Small mixing bowls
  • Mixing bowls
  • Can opener (if using canned tomato paste)
  • Oven mitts
    Ingredients For the Eggs
    • Eggs
    • Potatoes
    • Onions
    • Bell pepper
    • Assorted herbs (for ketchup) 
    • Assorted hot sauce 
    • Lemons
    • Limes 
    • Tomato paste
    • Butter
    • Vegetable oil
    • Garlic
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Cinnamon
    • Ground clove
    • Ground allspice
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Brown sugar
    • Ground mustard seed
    • Water
    • White wine vinegar
                  Procedure Steps: 
                  SMALL GROUPS, 75-80 MINUTES

                  Welcome students back to the kitchen and review today's recipe. 

                  1. Explain that this is the last of their three lessons in the kitchen this fall. Today we’ll be making breakfast: eggs, potatoes, ketchup, and tea.
                  2. The past two lessons have focused on the themes of independence and seasonality in the kitchen. This final lesson involves an even higher level of independence and group autonomy in the kitchen. Greater independence demands even more advanced collaboration skills, and entails greater responsibility.
                  3. Small-group check-in: What is your favorite breakfast food? What is your favorite way to eat potatoes?
                  4. Today students will decide as a group how they will cook their potatoes:
                    • In order to make this decision, encourage students to rigorously engage with their group dynamics—challenge them to make the decision in a way that allows everyone in the group to feel seen and heard. In dividing up work, challenge the groups to aim for fairness.
                    • Explain that if over the previous two lessons certain students took more vocal roles in facilitating group decision-making, the highest form of leadership is to recognize when listening more and talking less will allow everyone in the group to contribute.
                    • “Move up, move up” is a saying that recognizes that for people who find it comfortable to be quiet and listen in a group, becoming more vocal is a way of move up into leadership, and that for people who find it comfortable to be more vocal, increasing their listening is a way to move up their leadership skills.
                  5. Explain that in addition to making decisions as a group, groups will coordinate their timing to prepare multiple recipes. They will be given time to plan when we break into our small table groups.
                  6. Finally, everyone will cook an egg for themselves.
                    • Ask students to wash their hands and begin working. 

                    EGG COOKING DEMONSTRATION 

                    Demonstrate how to make a scrambled egg and a fried egg. 

                    1. Explain that you must add oil or butter to the pan before cooking an egg. 
                    2. Demonstrate and explain how to crack an egg. 
                    3. Explain that mixing in salt before adding a scrambled egg to the pan improves flavor and texture. 
                    4. If you are using a nonstick pan, you must use wood or plastic utensils to avoid scratching the pan.
                    COOKING TIME 

                    Students organize work, set a timeline, and start cooking. 

                    1. Introduce the recipes for today: potatoes, homemade ketchup, herb tea, and eggs.
                    2. The group gets to decide whether they prepare their potatoes on the griddle as homefries, in the oven as oven fries, or a combination of the two. They also have the option to make mashed potatoes without a recipe if they want to.
                    3. Because the ketchup recipe needs to sit overnight in order for the flavors develop, they will be preparing ketchup for the following day’s classes and personalizing ketchup the previous day’s classes prepared.
                    4. There is no recipe for the herb tea—the group gets to decide what herbs they harvest and include in the tea.
                    5. Explain that today the group will also be coordinating timing to prepare all the food in time to eat.
                      • Recommend that they consider waiting until the end of class to cook the eggs because cold eggs are not very delicious.
                      • Recommend that they allot about 15 minutes total for each student to cook their own egg.
                      • Facilitate the group in working backward to identify target times for different stages of the meal preparation—start with cleanup and work backward through mealtime, cooking the eggs, setting the table, etc. Have the group assign at least one timekeeper.
                    6. Turn it over to the small group to identify and divide cooking jobs.
                    7. Prepare the recipes. Offer support where needed.
                    8. Set the table and eat. While eating, debrief with the group how the team worked together.
                    9. Clean up.
                    FULL GROUP, 5-10 MINUTES
                    AT THE CLOSING CIRCLE

                    Reflect together and close the class. 

                    1. Students rate the food on a scale of 1 to 5.
                    2. If there is time, have students share something they learned from the first three lessons of their eighth-grade rotation.
                    Download Lesson Materials:
                    Teaching Notes: 
                    MOVE UP, MOVE UP 
                    • We observed that overtly naming in the Chef Meeting that the increased level of independence in the lesson required an increased level of responsibility allowed our students to collaborate much more successfully.
                    • We found that encouraging students to recognize listening as a form of leadership and pay attention to whose voices were being heard meant that group power dynamics were less likely to fall along lines of larger social power dynamics (i.e. the white boys in the group being the most vocal).
                    • Setting up more intentional structures for students to collaborate in a way that disrupts current social power dynamics remains a major area of inquiry for us.
                    EGG DEMONSTRATION 
                    • The first couple of times we taught this lesson, we didn’t demonstrate how to cook an egg in the Chef Meeting. Instead, we demonstrated how to cook an egg just in small groups during the cooking time (or had a student demonstrate).
                    • We found that including an egg demonstration in the Chef Meeting helped to streamline the lesson because students more reliably retained key points (preheating the pan, adding fat to the pan before the eggs), and showed students how quickly an egg could cook (which also dramatically cut down on the number of rubbery, overcooked eggs).
                    • We observed that not knowing how to cook an egg could make some students feel vulnerable or embarrassed. For others, cooking their own egg represented a large responsibility that made them nervous. Often, students expressed this hesitation by saying that they didn’t want an egg or that they didn’t like eggs.
                    •  Most times, offering the student direct support in cooking their egg – and explaining they didn’t have to eat it if they didn’t want to – changed their minds and made them eager to try cooking an egg.
                    • We also found that the Chef Meeting egg-cooking demo helped to allay many students’ fears. We also often identified one or two students who had experience cooking eggs and asked them to go first so others could observe.
                    OTHER NOTES
                    • Cracking an egg: Students had a much higher success rate cooking their eggs after we started overtly demonstrating how to crack an egg in the Chef Meeting (both on the table and pulling the shells apart).
                    • Timing: This lesson required every one of the 85 minutes we had to teach it. Instead of meeting around the middle table for the Chef Meeting as we normally do, we had students go straight to their table groups in order to streamline and buy some time.
                    • Pride in mastery: Students who had experience cooking eggs were often very proud to showcase their skills. Challenging these students to explain their steps while other students observed was often a fulfilling experience for them and a good way for less experienced egg cookers to gain confidence.
                    • Nonstick pans: We used nonstick pans to cook the eggs for ease of turnaround and greater success rate. We also found that flipping an egg in the nonstick pan could be a fun and thrilling group moment.
                    • Setting up the egg stations: We preset pans, oil, butter, salt, pepper, eggs, compost bucket for egg shells, spatulas, bowl, and fork for scrambled eggs at each cooking station.
                    • Potatoes: Parboiling the potatoes makes the home fries cook more quickly. Encouraging students to let the potatoes sit on the griddle undisturbed, only stirring occasionally, allows the potatoes to brown and gives students a good opportunity to clean up.
                    • Ketchup: It was more fun and delicious to use herbs, garlic, vinegars, and hot sauces to customize the ketchup than it was to use dry spices.
                    • Hot sauce diversity: We made multiple hot sauces available to our students during this lesson (Crystal, Tapatío, Cholula, Sriracha). Students often identified very strongly with one or two hot sauces and were very happy to see their own hot sauce because it was an opportunity for them to see their culture represented in space.

                    Academic Standards

                    Common Core State Standards

                    English Language Arts and Literacy, Grade 8


                    Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.



                    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher- led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


                    Edible Schoolyard Standards

                    In the Kitchen Classroom, Grade 8



                    Demonstrate mastery of knife skills, safety and care using knives from the ESY Toolbox.




                    Demonstrate mastery of a wide variety of cooking techniques, reliably choose the right technique for each job, and compare and contrast technique differences in conversation.


                    All lessons at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley are a collaboration between the teachers and staff of the Edible Schoolyard and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.