First grade Garlic Experts

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By: Tara McNerney, Cooking and Gardening Teacher at Mundo Verde Public Charter School …..

When the weather turned cold in the nation’s capitol, and the garden was looking ready for a long sleep, the first graders at Mundo Verde Public Charter were getting ready to do the last planting of 2014. One brisk and cloudy day in late November, the first graders donned their coats and mittens and went out to the garden to plant….garlic!

In the garden…
Garlic, the students learned, is a bulb, and bulbs we plant just before winter is upon us.

“The dirt is cold!” two girls exclaimed as they used their fingers to dig small holes for their garlic cloves.

To our plate…
Next, students learned how to use garlic in the kitchen where it is frequently used in cooking frequently to enhance the flavor of food. And knowing how to peel and chop garlic like a chef is an important kitchen skill!

Students learned how to press, peel and mince the garlic – always safely using the “bear claw” technique of course!

Some sneaked a taste. “It tastes spicy!” they squealed.

“Some people eat raw garlic for their health – it can be used as a natural medicine,” I informed them. Then admitted: “but, it does taste better cooked!”

Luckily for the first graders, the next step was to work together as a team to concoct garlic bread!

Students worked with their tablemates to butter a baguette, mince the garlic and sprinkle some parsley leaves on the top.

When out of the oven it came, perfuming the classroom with a mouth-watering smell, I reminded the class: “We worked together to make this, so let’s do our cheer and eat the first bite together!”

We did our cheer (courtesy of City Blossoms!) “Arriba, Abajo, El Centro, Al dentro!” Crunch, was the sound as twenty-two little mouths all bit into the warm garlic bread.