Vermont School Garden

A visit to a Vermont public school garden through the seasons.


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Cooking With Toddlers: Easy Banana Bread

playing with the batter

playing with the batter

You’ve all had bananas sitting on your counter that look as if they’re ready for the trash bin. But, not so fast. It’s January in Vermont and you’re stuck indoors with a bored toddler. Here’s what you can do: make banana bread. Be sure to have all of your ingredients ready, and then follow the simple recipe below. You can decrease the sugar by half and still have a yummy snack. (We put one loaf in the freezer and then gobbled up the other one.)

Download: Banana Bread Recipe

those overripe bananas

those overripe bananas

mashing babanas

mashing babanas

mixing eggs, oil, sugar and bananas

mixing eggs, oil, sugar and bananas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

measuring dry ingredients

measuring dry ingredients

adding dry ingredients to wet

adding dry ingredients to wet

finished banana bread

finished banana bread

 

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Cooking Fun and Marketing Skills 101

commercial for pumpkin choco-chip cookies

commercial for pumpkin choco-chip cookies

How would you market pumpkin chocolate chip cookies? Fifth and Sixth graders had a chance to team up and show off their advertising skills when we made chocolate chip pumpkin cookies in December. Students in this class had chosen cooking as a pre-vacation activity. We did plenty of cooking and while the oven baked our fries and cookies, we cooked up some enticing ads for our edible products.

The pumpkin cookies featured the last of our garden pumpkins. They weren’t doing very well in cold storage by the end of December, so I cooked them down in a 350 degree oven. First I cut them in half and removed the seeds. Then I lined a cookie sheet with foil and added 1/2 cup of water. The pumpkin halves, placed upside down, steam in their skins. After about 40 minutes or when tender to the touch, remove pumpkins from the oven. Let them cool a bit and scrape out the pulp. It can easily be mashed and stored in plastic bags in the freezer for future use in any recipe calling for mashed/canned pumpkin. Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

checking measurements

checking measurements

checking measurements

beating butter

even older kids are cautious when cracking eggs

even older kids are cautious when cracking eggs

stored pumpkins over time

stored pumpkins over time

salvaged pumpkins

salvaged pumpkins

sharing our "Life of Potato" stories

sharing our “Life of Potato” stories


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Diggin’ Potatoes

Potato Latkesfrying latkes

We still have lots of potatoes stored at Harlow Farm and they’re a great source for scientific theory. Our question for this class of “Science You Can Eat,” was: “Do you think potatoes have water in them and why or why not?” This is a question loaded with potential for empirical response especially among the six and seven year olds. response potato questonsOne response: Yes because they need water to grow. Here is an opportunity to record and test out theory for perhaps one of the first times.

By the way, many potatoes are 80% water! We peeled and grated our potatoes. Then we spread them on a clean cloth napkin and sprinkled them with salt. The salt draws the water from the potatoes. We then rolled the napkins tight and squeezed out the water. Magic! All that water from summer growth was indeed stored inside the potatoes. The rest of the potato is mostly starch, though I’m guessing you knew that already. The average potato also contains small amounts of simple sugars, which are important for developing the golden-brown color of fried and roasted potatoes. Overall, a potato has a lower carbohydrate content than other roots and tubers and a plain boiled potato has less calories than the equivalent weight of plain boiled rice, pasta or bread.  It’s said that when men were dying from scurvy during the Klondike Gold Rush, potatoes were sold for their weight in gold. This is because potatoes were, and are, a very good source of vitamin C. 1/4 lb. of freshly harvested spuds, boiled in their skins, gives about 50% of an adult’s typical recommended daily intake.
After School Cooks then combined the grated potatoes with flour, eggs, onion and other ingredients to make potato pancakes.

We ate our pancakes with homemade applesauce. No one could eat enough of these yummy treats. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.

using a peelergrating teamusing peelers

testing out water in potato theory

testing out water in potato theory

learning to crack eggsoldest get to cook

apple sauce and latkesRecipe: Potato Latkes