Today starts our 3rd week of kids camp. This week's theme is Olympic Sports! Today's sport was tennis.
We started off the day by making nametags with our favorite foods on them. Common images included pizza, ice cream, eggs, and strawberries.
Then, each table formed their team. We have The Running Rackets (tennis), The Deep Ends (swimming), The Ursulettes (javelin), The Bazinga Bouncers (basketball), and The Spikers (volleyball). They decorated posters with their team names. Don't they look amazing?!
Since it is the first day, we had to review some rules. Mimi reviewed what CHEFS stands for and how we can use this acronym to be safe and have fun at camp! CHEFS are clean, helpful, experiment, friends, and safe. After setting down some more ground rules with things like knives and hand washing, we FINALLY got to start cooking.
Since today's sport was tennis, we got to make stuffed green peppers, inspired by tennis balls. With this we made a juice of carrot and apple. Delish! Our chefs in training got started by halving the peppers and chopping onion and parsley really fine. Once finished with that, Tara put the onions and parsley in a pan with oil, garlic, ground pork, ground chicken, and canned tomatoes. It smelled amazing. While our stuffing for the peppers sautéed, we got to chopping the apples and carrots for our juice. It was hard work, and we lost a few carrots and apples to the ground, but finally our ingredients for the juice were prepared to be blended.
After another round of hand washing, Joey went outside with everyone but our Running Rackets team to play Freezer Tag. Our fun was halted momentarily by the rain, but quickly we resumed playing a game of Four Corners indoors.
While this was going on The Running Rackets blended the juice, cleaned the eating area, set the table, and put out the prepared food.
Finally, it was time to eat. The consensus was that the stuffed peppers were AMAZING. Lots of people noticed that the stuffing was similar to jambalaya. Some people who said they didn't like peppers learned that they liked them when stuffed with meat, rice, cheese, and tomatoes. The juice was super thick, since we used a blender, not a juicer. Many chefs remarked that it was similar to applesauce, but with a vegetable hidden in there! What a successful first day of camp. We can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store!
For our Olympics week, Tuesday was swimming themed! After we all arrived, we started on our craft: Olympic torches. We used tissue paper flames and a paper handle that we got to personalize. Check out our final product!
Since the sport was swimming, how fitting that we learned about soups with Mimi! We reviewed the differences between a bisque and chowder, and cream-based vs. broth-based soups. We also learned that there are various types of COLD soups, even though we are more familiar with hot soups. Then each table got to do a matching activity with facts about various soups and stews. Every table matched them all! We've got some smart chefs. After learning so much about soups, we got to put our new knowledge to use and make TWO kinds of soup.
We made a cold soup, gazpacho from Spain, and a hot soup that was like a chili with pasta in it. For the cold soup we had a station chopping tomatoes, onions, and peppers.We had another station seeding and chopping cucumbers and squash. A third station mixed the spices and tomato sauce for the gazpacho.
Finally, a fourth station made the spaghetti sauce that went in the chili-soup. We were surprised that brown sugar goes in spaghetti sauce and got to smell lots of spices like oregano and pepper. After each camper made it through each station, it was time for games!
Outside, Joey led us in spaghetti and meatball tag, cheese grater tag, and a camp favorite, Chefs and Waiters. We had some great rounds of each. Mr. Aidan even won spaghetti and meatball tag twice! Way to go!
While most of us were outside, the Deep Ends were hard at work inside. They blended the veggies for the gazpacho with an immersion blender. That was a new tool for most! Then they added all the ingredients for our hot soup: ground beef, red beans, wagon wheel noodles, spaghetti sauce, and beef broth.
Then it was time to eat! It was super cool to eat a hot soup and a cold soup and compare the two. Many thought the gazpacho was like a milder salsa, and some people thought the chili soup tasted like Chef Boyardee ravioli! A crowd pleaser, for sure. For most people, gazpacho was a very new texture, temperature, and taste. It is so fun to experiment at camp!
Day 3's sport was javelin throw! We started the day by decorating mugs with Olympic imagery. We had some pretty creative campers. Check 'em out.
Then we chatted with Mimi about sweet and savory foods, since today's meal combined sweet and savory elements together. All campers had the opportunity to create a sweet and savory meal. With the meal they had to come up with their own restaurant and the price. We had some interesting dishes, and many campers used honey and fruit in new ways with meat, noodles, or vegetables.
After a hand washing session, it was time to get cookin'! Today we made shrimp and veggie skewers, since they look like javelins. With this we had mango salsa, and Tara was even nice enough to whip up some brown rice stir fried with garlic.
At our tables, everyone cut up their own serving of green pepper, tomato, and mushroom to put on their kebabs. Then every camper got 10 baby shrimp that we proceeded to bread. We zested lime into the breadcrumbs, and squeezed the juice onto the shrimp directly. To make the breading stick, we dunked our shrimp in buttermilk, then the breading and lime zest. Once everyone coated their shrimp we got to skewering.
Some chefs chose to make a pattern with the ingredients, while others put on all the shrimp, then all the peppers, then all the tomatoes. They were beautiful and each one was unique.
Then in was time to start the mango salsa! First, everyone scooped the mango out of its skin. To this we added lime and orange juice. Then we mixed it all up and got to see garlic being pressed. To this mixture, Tara added parsley and onion.
The Ursulettes stayed inside to help in the kitchen, while everyone else went outside. It was a scorcher today, so we took lots of water breaks. Joey led the group in a game of the camp classic, Chefs and Waiters. After multiple games, no one had beaten Joey, and finally on the last game, Remy managed to do it, with Hana in a close second. Nice job, ladies!
The Ursulettes stayed inside to finish up the cooking and cleaning. They helped mix in the final ingredients for the mango salsa and also stir-fried some rice with garlic. They cleaned and set the tables, too!
Lastly, it was time to eat! It was an interesting mix of flavors and a new experience for many campers. The skewers sure were fun, and it was a very balanced, fresh, and delicious meal!
Today was all about basketball! We started by making basketball hoops out of strawberry baskets, straws, and construction paper. We had some pretty serious shoot outs with our tissue paper basket balls.
After lots of fun for the counselors and campers alike, we move on to Jeopardy. This version by Mimi was all about athletes and staying healthy. There were some tricky questions involving quinoa and complex carbohydrates, but in the end our team of the day, The Bazinga Bouncers, won the grand prize: lemon cookies!
We washed up and got to cooking. Today's menu was super fun. We made falafel balls (basketballs), and tzatziki sauce in cups (the hoop). For todays prep, we had 4 interesting stations. Each chef got to try each stations.
Station 1: Preparing the tzatziki sauce with Joey. We got to grate cucumbers and lemons, juice lemons, and add ingredients like yogurt, parsley, and various spices.
Station 2: Cutting up the carrots for out falafel balls with Chandler. Tara then put these carrots in the food processor to make them even smaller. To these carrots we added spices, like cumin, to season our falafel.
Station 3: We got to try our hand at making butter with Carli! We had 4 water bottles with some buttermilk in them and we all took turns shaking them. Eventually, we could see that solids had formed in the bottles. The intention was to use this butter to grease the pans for the falafel, but we didn't have enough time to make the butter. We learned it takes a lot of muscle turn milk into butter.
Station 4: This was another fun station with Mimi. For the falafel, we had to mash up the chickpeas. Campers did this in plastic baggies and using a giant mallet in a bowl. Despite the bags exploding every time, we still ended up with plenty of mashed chickpeas.
After our stations most of us headed outside, except for The Bazinga Bouncers, who cleaned, formed the falafel balls, and served the tzatziki sauce with Tara.
Outside, Joey led a thrilling game of Steal the Tzatziki. The campers had to work together to take Joey's tzatziki from him and bring it all the way back to the starting point. It took a couple rounds to develop a strategy, but our chefs got pretty creative with ways to steal the sauce. Unfortunately, they could not defeat Joey before it was time to eat.
We sat down to our basketball themed meal! So fun, tasty, and interactive. How is it that there is only 1 day of camp left?!
We wrapped up the week on a great note with our volleyball themed day! We decorated our cookbooks that we got to take home. Campers made their cover pages, made modifications to the recipes, and many got everyone's signatures as a nice souvenir of our fun week at camp!
Then we played a camp favorite, Snack Wars. Campers were put into pairs and each pair received a banana, raisins, sunflower seeds, pretzel sticks, and apple butter to assemble a creature or object of some sort. Our teams then had to come up with a name for the creature, where it lives, and what it eats. We had so many unique ideas, but here are just a few of them:
After snack wars, it was time to get cooking! Since today was volleyball themed, we drew inspiration from the nets and made waffles. We made a sweet batter with bananas, cinnamon, and honey, and a savory batter with broccoli, shallots, and basil. For the cooking, we formed three stations.
Station 1: Making the sweet batter with Mimi. Everyone got to add ingredients and mix them up to make the batter.
Station 2: Making the savory batter with Joey. We started by mincing the broccoli and shallots. Our shallot choppers shed a few tears but ultimately did an excellent job chopping!
Station 3: Cooking the pancakes with Chandler and the waffles with Tara. Everyone had a turn to pour batter or flip pancakes and try out the waffle maker.
From cooking, we moved outside for games, apart from The Spikers who continued making the pancakes and waffles and set up the room for our meal.
Joey led the outside crowd in a game of food themed 4 Corners Tag. Since it was the last day of camp, we also played Chefs and Waiters for one last time. By the end everyone was red and sweaty, and soon we got to eat!
The pancakes were served with a tangy whipped cream that had yogurt and honey in it. Many campers were surprised that they enjoyed the savory waffle, and compared it to lasagna or pasta. We had a phenomenal week at camp!