The campers started off their Wednesday morning with a great start with Disability Awareness Day! Four stations were set up in the garden to allow the campers to learn first-hand the many restraints and difficulties of being disabled. The campers first listened to two representatives from the Saint Louis Paraquad. Both representatives shared their own personal stories of how being disabled has changed their life and how they have been able to adapt. The campers were able to test out using wheelchairs, leg splints, and adaptive kitchen tools such as a one-handed can-opener and bottle opener, as well as a one-handed cutting board and knife. Chef Whitney showed the campers how to make organic chicken feed using her own personal recipe, but were challenged to use the leg splints while doing so.
After the garden, the campers headed back up to the kitchen to learn some more French recipes and techniques! First they began preparing for lunch: Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce, Gruyere and Parmesan Souffles, and a Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Vinaigrette. The campers learned how to properly whip egg whites and fold them into their souffle batter without deflating the egg whites. This ensured a tall, voluminous souffle! For the chicken, the campers sauteed their chicken then made a delicious, quick cream sauce to cover it. Dry white wine was reduced in a sauce pan before adding heavy cream, Dijon mustard, and fresh tarragon from the garden. Yum!
After lunch and a quick game outside for physical activity, the campers headed back to the kitchen to prep for the appetizer party! The campers made candied walnuts using brown sugar and honey, Coq au Vin, and a tomato and Gruyere galette. Coq au Vin is a traditional French meal using chicken and red wine. After marinating in red wine overnight, the chicken is browned in a pan. Mushrooms, small pearl onions, and bacon are sauteed in the same pan to caramelize. The campers learned the importance of a roux to thicken sauces and stews, such as Coq au Vin. Flour is added to a fat, usually butter, and cooked until the desired color. Once cooked, the chicken is added back to the pan to finish cooking with the red wine, onions, mushrooms, and a bouquet garni of parsley and thyme.
For the tomato and Gruyere galette, the campers made a traditional tart dough using flour, butter, and cold water. Once chilled, the dough was rolled out into a rustic circle shape and laid on a sheet tray. The campers filled their tart with fresh sliced tomatoes, sliced Gruyere cheese, basil, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Once the galette’s sides were folded up, each galette was brushed generously with melted butter. We can’t wait to try out our delicious recipes on Friday!