Saturday, 18 May 2013

Evolving Ravioli and a Visit to The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Foundation

This week we made:
Ravioli filled with pear and cheese and served in a herb sauce
Massaman Vegetable Curry
Salad of the Imagination
Cream of Vegetable Soup
Ravioli production continued to evolve this week! At the start of the week we decided that our ravioli attachment for our pasta machine is not very ‘student-friendly’ and debated whether to go back to the more manual method that we used last year. Jobe solved the problem for us however when he decided to make a ‘pacman’ ravioli by cutting a circle of pasta, filling it and folding it. We realised that this could be the procedure that we were looking for! We tried it out all week and found that it allowed for far more student participation than the machine did.

The old method!!

We used a flour dredger top as our cutter - but now have a nice new one purchased in Melbourne!


As usual there was lots of very good food preparation, gardening and eating happening at school – the photos that follow show this very clearly. Special mention should be made of Ellen who used our kitchen garden interactive whiteboard activity to select the items that she wanted to include in her salad, came to the kitchen and found the items and then made her salad almost completely independently. What a star!!



Our big news this week is that we have started to incubate 25 eggs – kindly donated by Naomi in Red Class. They have been placed in an incubator at 37.5 degrees Celsius and in approximately 65% humidity. The incubator turns the eggs automatically every 2 hours. If the eggs are fertile we should see chicks hatching round about the 4th June.


I took advantage of being in Melbourne at the weekend to attend a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program Public Workshop. These workshops are run on several Saturday mornings throughout the year and are fund-raisers for the program. I attended a workshop run by Melbourne chef and cookery book writer Rosa Mitchell. The workshop was called ‘Pasta Fast and Slow’. We learned how to make a variety of pasta using methods involving high-tech machines and methods where we just used our hands. We made ravioli, fettuccine and macaroni. The macaroni was made using reeds – here is Rosa’s description;

“As a child, growing up, special occasions were celebrated with handmade macaroni; the women would sit around the table and roll the dough with a long, thin reed that normally grows around water. It was a lot of fun sitting around the table gossiping and laughing.”

We made the macaroni in this way and it was delicious. Rosa kindly gave me some reeds that we will try using at school.

I also learned yet another method for making ravioli that could work well for us.

We also made some delicious sauces.

In addition to the workshop being so enjoyable, I found it really good to visit the Foundation again and get a fresh ‘injection’ of ‘kitchen garden philosophy’. We are a little isolated from this in Tasmania and it does make a difference to be reminded that we are part of a much larger program. It was also gratifying to be welcomed so warmly and to be introduced to the other participants (just members of the public, not school people) as the coordinator of the program in one of their ‘star’ schools.

It was good to catch up with Foundation staff that I have met previously. One member of staff inveigled me into producing several podcasts for the Foundation, describing how the program is run at our school. I felt very nervous doing this, but they seemed to be very happy with the result!

I took a moment to re-visit the Foundation’s garden – a truly delightful place.

On Monday I will be meeting with SAKGP staff at Ascot Vale Special School – read about it in next week’s blog!

Our menu next week is:

Cream of Vegetable Soup
Roasted Winter Vegetables
Ravioli filled with Pumpkin and served with a Herb Sauce
Grain Mustard and Herb Rolls
Waldorf Salad

We have the grand opening of the Chicken House on Thursday – read all about it next week.

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