Monday, July 15, 2013

Global Chefs Visit Kenya

Sukuma Wiki - cooked onion, tomato and kale!
This week I am teaching a summer camp called Global Chefs.  We'll 'visit' five countries through food, music and crafts!  Our destinations include: Kenya, Brazil, French Polynesia, India and Germany.  Today we visited Kenya!

To begin our discussion on Kenya, we first found the country on our world map and colored it in.  We then went over some basic facts about the country on the passport page of our recipe journal and colored in the flag and a picture of an African elephant and a baobab tree.  

We read a story about Kenyan village life called Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin.  We then made the recipe for Mama Panya's pancakes from the back of the book.  These pancakes are very thin, like French crepes and have red pepper chili flakes in them.  The recipe suggests filling them with jam for something sweet, or tuna for a savory pancake.  We went for sweet by filling them with dark and white chocolate chips!  The campers helped measure the ingredients and a few were able to help us flip the pancakes.  They weren't too keen on the spiciness of the pancakes though, six campers gave the recipe a 'thumbs up' while nine campers gave it a 'thumbs down.'

Our next activity focused on a very special person from Kenya, Dr. Wangari Maathai.  She was an environmentalist who bravely faced adversity and even jail time to plant trees in her native home and help restore Kenya's forests.  She also worked on women's rights and founded The Green Belt Movement to encourage women to plant trees as a source of food, firewood and income.  This year as part of our summer camp program, we are teaching the campers about Wangari and planting a tree in her honor.  Our campers are voting on which native Ohio tree we'll plant: Tulip Tree, 'Autumn Splendor' Horsechestnut or 'Espresso' Kentucky Coffeetree.  To introduce the campers to Wangari, I read Seeds of Change: Planting a Path To Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson.  We then went outside to learn about some of the trees in the park through a Project Learning Tree activity called "Adopt a Tree."

For our afternoon snack we made Sukuma Wiki (Push the Week), cooked kale with tomatoes and onion, from Global Table Adventure.  The campers were very skeptical of a recipe that contained so much onion (especially after chopping it themselves- we all had watery eyes!), but in the end they loved it!  Ten out of fifteen campers gave this recipe a 'thumbs up' and several had seconds.  

While we were cooking the pancakes and sukuma wiki we listened to music from Eastern Africa on Pandora.  The campers really enjoyed the music, some of them even danced!

I've had a lot of fun researching recipes for this camp and another international cooking camp I will teach at the end of the month called Cookbooks & Passports.  I've found a lot of fantastic ideas from fellow bloggers - many of whom are exploring different cultures with their children at home.  They share their experiences and invite others to do the same through a project called Around the World in 12 Dishes.  Each month of the year they learn about the food and culture of a different country, which is selected in advance.

I have been extremely impressed with their recipes, crafts and ideas and hope that my campers have fun in these two globally minded camps!

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop I am linking this post about our adventure learning about Kenya with Around the World in 12 Dishes and with the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #6!

For more international craft and recipes ideas, check out my Pinterest board Global Chefs + Crafts!