Out of the Mouths of Babes….

This past Wednesday, April 18, 2007, I have, in the company and with the help of Mark Twain Intermediate School‘s sophmore class 7C and their intrepid teacher, accomplished the greatest feat since the birth of my children! We planned and executed a dinner party for 100 people! The event was a great success due to the hard work of the students and Karen Silverman,teacher, who allowed me to invade her classroom for four weeks prior to the dinner party, and hijack her class into culinary madness!

Mrs. Karen Silverman, teacher extraordinaire!
The class learned nutrition, etiquette, and math among other things, in the process, and earned great confidence from the evolution. In the past few weeks we discussed balancing a menu, and how important it is to make your guests feel welcome and at home. We designed an invitation, which Twain’s Art Talent and teacher, Mrs. Louzonis, and her class executed for us.

The students decided on a “World Menu” showcasing that people from all places and countries easily come together around a dinner table. I second that motion! I have a ton of pics fom the weeks leading up to this event, but time and space limit me, so I am going to post the pics from theis last Wednesday, which, by the way, were taken by the ever elusive, but always present, Miguelina Polanco, my trusty assistant!

I decided to divide the recipes among the kids…each group would do one recipe from start to finish. We had one group prepping and browning the chicken for the Country-Style Chicken with Potatoes and Calamata Olives.

Of course proper sanitation is enforced!

The second part of this group was in charge of browning the potatoes for this same dish.

The next group was in charge of the Ensalada Russe, which is a salad of potatoes, carrots, turnips, and fresh peas. That’s a whole lot of chopping!

The next group had responsibility for dessert, and were in charge of making the pate choux for the Profiteroles with Vanilla ice cream. Yum!!

Last, but not least were our “sauciers” in charge of the Garlic and Herb Roasted Loin of Beef served with Horseradish-Sour Cream Sauce. They worked with Chef (and baby brother!) Peter Martinez, who volunteered his time and effort. Thanks Pete!

Paul readies the herbs for the roast!

Michael preps the horseradish for the sauce with the microplane

I’m not going to lie to you! It was busy in that kitchen, but as any given group finished their task, they’d jump over and help another group. This class ran this kitchen like a well-oiled machine!

Artur checks the profiteroles in the oven.

Then everyone teamed up to fill the profiteroles with ice cream. We had to do this really fast before the ice cream melts!

This class had things so together, that we actually had time for a lunch break, came back and finished wrapping this up, so that we could move the operation down to the cafeteria, where we would be hosting our Dinner Party.

Michael, Pietro and Yuliy prep the salad greens fro the Green and White Salad with two types of lettuce,fennel, Granny Smith Apples, English cucumbers, Belgian endive, and Haricot Vert (French string beans!).

Mrs. Silverman and Gary prep the fennel.

Chef Pete works the soup pot for the Caldo Verde

Then it was time to decorate the cafeteria, so that it doesn’t look like, well, …a cafeteria! We rented pretty navy blue tablecloths, and real linen napkins, which we folded in a pretty shape.

Once we had the the dining area looking ship shape, we went to the kitchen part of the cafeteria, where we finished all the last minute prepping.

Mr. Seif, the Assistant Principal, stopped by to make sure everything was running smoothly. It was, in fact, running so smoothly, that we finished everything we had to do almost 2 hours ahead of schedule!! Who rocks?! 7C!!!

Ms. Lynda Dias, Culinary Director at New York City College of Technology chats with the boys about the menu.

We had real place cards for all the guests, and Mr. Seif had the menus printed out on pretty paper for our formal table.

The PA provided balloons and pretty centerpieces for the finishing touches.

Soon it was time to receive our guests. We asked to take their coats, and lead them to their seats. Then we asked them if they would care for some refreshments that we had prepared. We served them sparkling grape juice and Thai Spring Rolls that we had prepared.

Once the children had given their guests the Amuse Bouche, they came back into the kitchen, while I spoke briefly to the guests and told them a little bit about the project. Then I introduced the chefs of the evening, Class 7C!!

Resplendant in their matching red aprons, they glowed with pride and confidence, for a job well done!

Principal Carole Moore introduced the hard working staff who had supported this project from the beginning. It really was a team effort.

Then it was time to rock and roll…or how we say it in the kitchen: hop, pop, and chop! Ms. Dias surprised us with a bunch of terrific culinary student volunteers from NYC College of Technolgy. They were indispensable in the kitchen, as out students functioned as waiters for their guests.

City Tech Hospitality Students, Koobe and Fernand chip in to help!

City Tech culinary students Marcus, Ronish, Kubee, Fernand and Veronica weigh in!

First we served our soup, the Caldo Verde with spicy chicken andouille sausage, potato and kale.

This was followed by our White and Green Salad dressed in a light thyme scented white wine vinagrette.

We had a choice of entrees: chicken or beef. Both were very well received!

All this delicious food was served by the students of Class 7C (and my daughter, Angela, who helped!).

I actually heard one of the kids say, while waiting in line, “I wish we could serve food like this in the cafeteria everyday!” Out of the mouths of babes!

As the dinner winded down, we prepared for dessert. Aside from our profiteroles, the PA, guests, and staff donated many delicious desserts to choose from.

Our dinner party was a HUGE success, but then it was time to clean up and go home. Of course, first we had to thank all of our kitchen staff, and give a well deserved pat on the back to Mrs. Silverman and her Class 7C. Buen Provecho!


15 Responses to “Out of the Mouths of Babes….”

  1. 1 Karen Silverman April 21, 2007 at 12:43 am

    Dear Daisy,

    Thank you, thank you so much for this beautiful blog. I love all the photos- Miguelina did a wonderful job. The pictures are so clear, and close-up to the action. The students are going to be thrilled to see themselves at work. Your comments and captions were fantastic. All through this project, you’ve been so warm, and so funny, and so smart, and so dynamic! It’s been a pleasure spending this time with you, and getting to know you. And Angela was absolutly adorable! I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.


  2. 2 daisy April 21, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Hi Mrs. Silverman!

    It is I who is thanking you for sharing your lovely class with me! I’m glad you liked the post. See you next week…I’ll be the girl lwith the pizza!



  3. 3 Migui April 21, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Ms. Silverman..I had a blast! Your kids, and you of course, are fantastic!

    It was my pleasure to document such a wonderful day!


  4. 4 Richard April 22, 2007 at 1:11 am

    That looks like the most wonderful day imaginable … Brava Daisy!


  5. 5 Elizabeth & Debby April 23, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Dear Daisy & Karen….How proud you both must be! It was the best evening possible and seeing the kids work so hard and take so much pleasure from their efforts was inspiring. The food, service and ambiance were all perfect! Hard to believe we were in a school cafeteria! Proof again that the efforts and interest of the home/school environment will produce the WONDERFUL students whose company we shared last week! 7C ROCKS……AS DOES DAISY & KAREN….

  6. 6 daisy April 23, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Hola Elizabeth and Debby,

    Thanks so much for sharing such a special evening with us. I’m still beaming with pride for those kids…they were twenty kinds of AWESOME!



  7. 7 Pietro P. April 25, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    THAT WAS THE BEST NIGHT OF MY 7th GRADE LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a lot of fun prepring and serving the food with everyone. My family loved it. I would just like to thank Daisy and Mrs.Silverman for the help and the expirence. Hopefully more things like that can happen in the future.



  8. 8 Migui April 26, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Dear Pietro:

    Your classmates and of course, YOU, impressed me with your commitment to the event, your sense of responsability and your talents. You guys rocked!

    Let me tell you Pietro, I have been in this business long enough to know a future star chef when I see one!

    You are great my friend!

    Migui, Daisy assistant..

  9. 9 daisy April 26, 2007 at 11:22 pm


    You are SO the MAN!!! I am very proud of my 7C Rockers! Thank you for sharing this event with me and my crew!

    Hasta pronto,


  10. 10 Larisa B. April 29, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Dear Daisy,
    Your recipies were very appetzing. It was soo much fun cooking with you. My parents loved the food and they thought you were really funny. I hope we’ll see you again or maybe cook agian. Thanks for the pizza.
    larisa bykova=]

  11. 11 Paul S. April 29, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Dear Daisy,

    Definitely the best night of my seemingly short 7th grade term. I was interested in cooking even before the dnner party, but this fired up my interests 100 times more! This was GREAT!!! Prepping the beef, then setting the tables, greeting our guests, serving them — everything was executed smoothly and efficiently. The food was great, the decorations — should I go on?

    Yours truly,
    Paul S.

  12. 12 Daisy May 1, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Larisa..

    I had a blast myself..what an unforgettable experience!. You guys were fantastic!

    I wouldn’t mind working with all of you again..such professionalism!


  13. 13 Lucas Scott May 1, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    i love this event [u told us about that] i wish our skool can have food like this and u need 2 teach the lunch ladys how 2 cook

  14. 14 Jennifer P. March 16, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Dear Daisy,
    Even though you have benn with my class for only a week (7B), i cant wait to have the dinner party. After looking at this blog, i’m even more motivated. Thank you so much for letting us have the Spoons Across America Dinner projecy. I’m really looking foward to it.

    Jennifer P.

  15. 15 Daisy March 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Jennifer, we are going to have so much fun in this class, you are not going to believe it!

    I’m thrilled that you took the time to look up last year’s event! . It’s going to be even better this year!



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