or a fire in my belly?
Today was a big day for Firebellies, a cooking club on campus that I am a board member of. The Firebellies day started out at 9AM with a 30 minute photo shoot for the Admissions magazine. We happily pretended to make apple crisp while the photographer cracked jokes to try to make us look natural. Our club’s message is food literacy, a cause I’d be a model for any day.
Then this afternoon our new project, the Northfield Middle School Youth Cooking Project, started up with a recruitment meeting for middle school boys. Linda, the after-school program coordinator, warned us not expect very many of the 5th grade boys to be interested in the class and that she couldn’t make anyone participate. We entered the room nervous and anxious. We played a catchy name game with food- I am Tori Tamale, I met Leo Lemon. We talked to the boys about our club, ourselves, and our food story. I told them that some of my fondest and clearest memories of being a kid involve food- like when my sister put OJ in the scrambled eggs or I ordered chicharones because I thought it meant chicken.
Once we started talking about food, their bellies lit up. Especially when we told them if they joined us for this project they would get to make food and (a little more important for them) EAT IT. We asked them what they wanted to learn to make. One boy wanted hot dogs wrapped in bacon, another wanted homemade nutella, and one boy begged for chiles rellenos. We mentioned the importance of eating healthy and they all looked at us like we were crazy until we belted out a bunch of healthy foods and asked them if they liked them, their eyes said yum. We have five weeks of cooking classes ahead of us and the chance to change the way these boys see food. Now that is sensational.