Bite of Brainfood Blog

The Rising Tigers Camp Begins

Submitted by Brainfood intern, Greer McBeth

The summer is off to a great start here at Brainfood.  The Summer Institute program and Box Project are in their second week after enjoying a long 4th of July weekend, but the Rising Tigers summer camp in Takoma Park, MD is in full swing at the end of its third week!  Though it’s only brainfood’s second year at the camp, this year’s group of 11 to 14 year olds is as eager and experienced in the kitchen as ever.

The camp kicked off the first week with a baking day which included granola bars, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, apple oatmeal muffins, and some fresh herb lemonade to top it all off.  Naturally, this was a very popular week.  Week two introduced the rising tigers to quick healthy snack ideas as the class period was cut a little bit short so campers could have the fourth of July off to celebrate.   This entailed some popcorn trail mix with nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit as well as quesadilla making and a fresh fruit salad.  

What's fresh at Brainfood? You name it!

 

School’s almost out, which means the Brainfood kitchens have been unusually quiet for the past couple of weeks. Our program participants are out finishing up another year of high school, and our ovens and stoves, pots and pans (not to mention instructors) are taking a break from daily cooking to focus on upcoming summer programs.

But outside in the Brainfood Youth Garden, things are in full swing! We’re harvesting a bounty of fresh produce that our programs will use in recipes this summer.  In this blog post, we’re bringing you an exclusive sneak preview of a few of our favorite home-grown Brainfood edibles along with some fun facts about each. 

KAS Graduation Day!

Written by Kitchen All Stars Intern Lauryn Woodruff

 

Do you remember when you graduated? My own graduation from college was just two weeks ago and the memory is still fresh in my mind. When I think of graduations, I think of long speeches, taking what seems like a million and one photos, and a sea of robes. The Kitchen All Stars graduation was nothing like that.

Spring Harvest Day!

Spending time outdoors is one of our favorite things about this time of year, and this week, Kitchen All Stars classes ventured outside the kitchen and into the garden! Participants from multiple sites explored the Brainfood Youth Garden together and spent the afternoon harvesting, learning, playing games, and of course, cooking. At this point in the year, students know their own Brainfood classmates quite well, but may not know the students who are in Brainfood programs at a different site. And what better way to get to know new people than pulling up radishes together?

 

Change Makers in the Food System

What do food and justice have to do with one another?  Well, according to Brainfood Kitchen All Star participants, both are necessary to live, both are things every human should have a right to and both are things that we deal with on a day to day basis. 

Wasting food? Not here!

         As we approach our last month at Brainfood, as an instructor, I always scramble to think of any last important lessons to teach our students before they leave us. They’ve already learned so much; knife skills, safety and sanitation, low-fat baking, healthy breakfast foods and whole grains. Have we forgotten anything?! 

       This week’s class was devoted to using food ingredients that are usually thrown away or wasted. Considering that in the U.S, we now waste more than 40% of our food, this topic seemed like something we shouldn’t skip over! So we dug deep into the back of our fridges to find the neglected, bruised and mushy produce that would normally get thrown away. 

       We used blackened bananas (the more rotten the better) to make delicious banana bread muffins. We threw some chocolate chips in there and our students didn’t even remember that the bananas were oozing and old. 

Because She Makes Me Laugh

Written by Chelsea Samms

Brainfood MVPs Intern

 

They say, “You never know what you’ve got until its gone,” and this came to mind last week as I thought about the absence of all the MVP’s vibrant faces. I spent all 
last week counting down the days until the MVPs would return from their spring break. Before class on Tuesday, I got antsy just hearing them walk down the
hallway to the kitchen.  I greeted all the students with a huge smile and made sure they knew how much I missed them.

 

My Brainfood Experience

Written by Social Media Intern Courtney Ball 
 
Back in 2008 my cousin told me about Brainfood. Being an only child, I had always looked for opportunities to interact with others my age, so I was very interested in joining. I was so excited to catch the bus to Chinatown after school twice a week to learn how to create something new. In fact, I loved it so much that I participated in Brainfood’s Kitchen All Stars after school and Summer  Institute programming for three  years. I would say that being a part of Brainfood definitely had a big impact on my life. Not only did I learn all sorts of new cooking skills, but I also made lifelong friends, some
of which have become like family. 
 

 

 

Spring Has Sprung in the Brainfood Youth Garden!

Written by Intern Michele Holzhauser

With Spring upon us, the Brainfood Youth Garden is getting a spring makeover with fresh soil and new fruits and vegetables!  Considering the harsh winter the DC area experienced, I was expecting to pull back the covers over the vegetables and find all of the remaining crops to be wilted.  However, to my surprise, I was able to harvest turnips, turnip greens, and a half pound of baby carrots!  Brainfood staffers were excited to learn that we had fresh vegetables for students to use in their recipes.  It was refreshing to see that after the long cold winter, crops were still able to grow. This showed me that if a garden is maintained properly, it really can produce all year round!

Life Lessons at Brainfood’s Food Jobs Panel

Written by Intern Casey Brand

Last Thursday, Brainfood hosted a Food Jobs panel at our Columbia Heights site. The panel featured five diverse, inspiring professionals from the food world. Their range of passions and skills, from gardening to entrepreneurship,   demonstrated that there are many more options for careers in food than just becoming a chef! We heard from Rachel Couch, a photographer; Cullen Gilchrist, co-owner of Blind Dog Cafe, 2B Studios, and Union Kitchen; Arsha Jones, owner of Capital City Mumbo Sauce;  Kate Lee, Garden Director of DC Greens, and Amanda McClements, a food writer.

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