Thursday, 14 February 2013

Back into the Swing of Things

After two weeks back at school it's as if we have never been away!
This week's menu was:
Thai Carrot Salad
Zucchini and Onion Pizza
Pasta with a Creamed Spinach Sauce
Mandarin and Almond Salad
Mini Frittatas

All was delicious as usual. The Thai Carrot Salad is becoming a very popular item, we have included it several times now. The Mandarin and Almond Salad was another that would be worth repeating should we be given more mandarins - the honey dressing added an interesting sweetness that was well balanced by the wine vinegar and the the range of textures and colours was good too. The Mini Frittatas were very popular and in the kitchen we were delighted with the silicon muffin 'tins' that we purchased and used for the first time with the frittatas - washing them up was incredibly easy! Pasta of course was enjoyed by all - it is great to see how everyone is becoming quite confident at using the pasta machine now and it seems to have survived being put under water (although it is a little squeeky!). The Zucchini and Onion Pizza was great generally, but definitely needed to have the zucchini sliced really thinly - the mandolin was excellent for this.

Brandon poured the frittata mix into our new muffin 'tins' - red ones of course!

Jo and Jordan worked with Diana to make the Thai Carrot Salad

Meg tore up the spinach for the pasta sauce

Thai Carrot Salad

It was good to have Ryan back this week - a great independent worker

Pasta machine experts!

We were delighted to witness several students join us to sit at the dining table for the first time this week, great progress so early in the year.

A highlight for me this week was the teamwork exhibited by Jacob, Josie and Bella in making the mandarin and almond salad. It was a geat cooking session - a fairly simple recipe so there was plenty of time to investigate the ingredients - including lots of tasting of course! I was beginning to wonder at one stage whether we would have any mandarins left for the salad after all the 'tastes' that we had of them!

After the long summer break we were a bit rusty last week with remembering how to set the dinner table and to to remember to have vases of  flowers there. This week we remembered!!

Jackson set the table beautifully

Jason arranged the flowers

Machines continue to fascinate everyone even if they are a little noisy!

We had two very welcome visitors this week - Doris, who started as a volunteer with us and Thomaz' sister. It made such a difference to have an extra person working with us - we are hopeful that Doris will continue to help us. And Thomaz loved having his sister come and see what he was doing.

And this week I got the perfect hygiene photo - thank you Jacob!!

And whilst on the subject of Jacob, how proud he looked to be asked to pour me a glass of water!

I need to include a photo from last week here - Josh impressed everyone last week when he sat down and peeled 24 hard boiled eggs independently AND without being asked to!

And well done to William for participating so well with food preparation - it is very exciting to see him sitting with us and investigating the food that we have prepared.

In the garden:

Last year I would have said that paper shredding was our most popular garden activity - this year it is definitely watering. Maybe that will change when the cooler weather arrives.

Our compost bins are looking rather sad at the moment - far too much shredded paper compared to green waste and manure. We will have to get them back into balance. Somehow our worm farm got waterlogged in the holidays too - we now have a very wet, slimy, smelly sludge! Something else to get balanced again - and of course new worms will be required.

Ryan helped move the compost

We planted kale, peas, mizuna, spring onions, basil and lettuce this week.

Litiani and Florence planted seedlings
And we harvested lots of zucchini, some peas, spring onions, silver beet, parsley, mint and basil.

Our giant pumkins continue to grow! We have lots of edible pumpkins growing too - this week we put cardboard mats underneath them to try to prevent them from rotting.

Our "Three Sisters" planting (squash, beans and corn) seems to be a success too!

Squash at the base providing mulch, corn growing tall to support the beans and beans providing nitrogen for the soil

Rotary (Bellerive) continued their fantastic work of building our chicken house this week - the roosting boxes were completed and look quite luxurious.

And so on to next week when we will be making:

Mini frittatas
Honey carrots
Potato salad
Pizza of the Imagination
Pasta with a Herb and Tomato Sauce

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