Jennifer and Ellie
Volunteers this swell are hard to come by! The Buford Schoolyard Garden Club, in January, reluctantly said goodbye to Chef Shawn (Kramer-Sisson) www.shwankie.net who initiated the club with an enthusiastic group of students in September, sharing her skills as a professional chef. Board member, Tracey Webber www.eatwithtracey.com, and UVA senior, Ellie Freeman stepped in to fill the void, contributing their talents in food prep and nutrition to the after school club. Not long afterward, a curious Jennifer Taylor walked in to see what was “cooking” and within a week, and an OK by central administration, she also joined in to assist with the cooking club. Jennifer and Ellie have been such great role models for the students; they have created an atmosphere that’s both instructive and fun.
Building on the skills taught by Chef Shawn, the new lead Chefs inspired the students to new levels of creativity and curiosity in the kitchen. The spring Garden yielded plenty of inspiration: lettuces (Deer Tongue, Mesclun, Winter Mix), kale, onions, arugula, spinach, radishes (French Breakfast, Icicle), sweet potatoes (wintered over), and pea sprouts all found their way into imaginative and seasonal dishes. One of the club’s favorites was built on a donation of individual pizza doughs from Mona Lisa Pasta www.monalisapasta.com, crisped with olive oil donated by Whole Foods Market www.wholefoodsmarket.com and topped with spinach and onions (among other creative ingredients) from the garden. Yum!
Funny, there are never any leftovers! All food was joyfully and heartily consumed by the students and an occasional staff member who might wander in. Anything left over was taken home for family and friends to sample.
Our Cooking Club year has come to a close, sadly, though not without one last hurrah for Cooking and Garden Club members! Several travelled to Critzer’s Farm with Lisa Drake on Thursday to pick strawberries. The berries have been cleaned, sliced and frozen in anticipation of finding their way into home made ice cream at our 2nd Annual Ice Cream Social on June 6. Couldn’t have a sweeter ending!
Thank you all the volunteers who have made the City Schoolyard Garden and Cooking and Garden clubs at Buford such a success this year:
Shawn Kramer-Sisson, Ellie Freeman, Jennifer Taylor, Tracey Webber, Brooke Ray, Betsy Donahue, Guinevere Higgins, Lisa Drake and thank you, Marcia Wisbauer, for sharing your kitchen.