Thursday, August 12, 2010

Adieu to Summer

The last day of the Summer Session found us dwindling in numbers (lots of students out on vacation) and yearning for a little relaxation. To commemorate the last day, I convinced the best pizza chef I know, my husband, Josh, to take a day off from work and teach the children to make pizza.
At the beginning of the summer, I had contemplated this project and I envisioned the children being able to roam through the garden, harvesting tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass (our tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini seem to be about a month behind everyone else that I have spoken with).
However, our basil has been quite prolific. So, the children were able to amble out to the garden for herbs and we were able to rely upon the CSA share for the majority of the produce. Honestly, I can't think of flavors more redolent of summer than fresh tomatoes and sweet, invigorating basil.
Nevertheless, the children happily busied themselves with the mise en place- chopping garlic and crushing tomatoes into a crimson puree with the food mill (there was a line for this lesson nearly all morning long and due to it's immense popularity we were left with nearly enough tomato sauce to have served a small army).

After the sauce was ready, our excited little brigade of sous chefs convened at the table (looking as serious as culinary students) and listened to Josh explain and demonstrate the process of making and rolling the dough. Each child prepared their own personal pizza crust

loaded them onto the peel,

and selected their own toppings

Afterwards, the children enjoyed the results of their efforts with a pizza party picnic.
Then they spontaneously decided to curl up in the Adirondack chairs beneath the elm tree and enjoy a dessert of fresh, ice cold watermelon. Isn't that what summer is all about? We hope you have as many great memories of the summer program as we do!

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