Today was so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got lost on the way to the school. Try navigating rural North Carolina roads before sunrise. Grrr. I almost got hit by a truck 🙁 But I finally made it!!!
Our goal is to have some kind of oatmeal recipe on the breakfast menu rotation – and to get the kids to eat it! So today we made oatmeal foodservice-style, which meant using a kettle and a steamer and standardizing the recipe for 50+ portions and making it kitchen-staff friendly (i.e. hands OFF!)
We decided to keep it simple and leave out the bananas, but otherwise I made typical KERF oatmeal of half milk, half water, cinnamon, salt, vanilla – plus some brown sugar 😉
The first batch went in the kettle –
Row, row, row your boat!
Pouring it for service when it had thickened
Sampling!! It was awesome. Slightly sweet, cinnamony + vanillay and the kids LOVED it!!! Wish I could show your their faces!!
We called our cart the "Oatmeal Express" as we rolled around and asked kids if they wanted to try it. Some were hesitant, but I was really surprised at how m any kids took it. We also had raisins and blueberries (frozen) for topping options.
Quote in a sweet voice: "Is the Oatmeal Express going to come back tomorrow"
Quote: "That oatmeal was AWESOME!"
One boy stuck his tongue in it and said "ewww" and I said "just try a spoonful!" I saw him a bit later and his bowl was empty. I asked him if he liked it and he sheepishly said, "Yeah, it was really good." Cute!
I hope it’s as well received at the other 34 schools in the district without the Oatmeal Express cart to increase enthusiasm.
After breakfast was served and cleaned, I had a big bowl for myself (the coffee + sample at 7:15 tided me over till about 8:30, very surprisingly). I had raisins and banana in my oats!
Cleaning the kettle was where we realized our problem. It was gross and sticky and a pain. So after breakfast we got started on a steamer method that would only dirty up some pans that could run through the dish machine and would be hands off. If the kitchen staff thinks the recipe is too hard to do or clean, they won’t like it.
Four different pans for different cooking times and water vs. milk experiment
Water vs. Milk
No stirring for 25 minutes in the steamer (vs. the stirred once above)
But after a nice stir, it turned out as great as the stirred mid-way one!
Scooped in a #8 half cup scoop (my foodservice prof would be proud!)
I had a second sample taste when the last batch came out
The milk version was BY FAR much better – sweeter and creamier – than the water only. And more nutrient-packed too!
We did a lot more cleaning and ended up serving our four pans of oats for LUNCH!!!!!!!! At the request of the kids! I think of about 75 4th graders they ALL took one. It was definitely a hit!
At noon my coworker and I broke for our own lunch. It was pizza + salisbury steak day and I’m not really a huge fan of either, so I did a vegetarian plate with a milk for my protein. Plus BROWN rice (steamed) and peas and an apple I brought from home.
They had hot sauce, which I put on my rice, that was awesome
And my coworker shared her cucs with me!
After lunch we visited the future community garden for this school. I am a HUGE fan of community gardens for schools. I hope more and more can find the funding to put them in.
Since I got there so early today I was able to head home a little earlier than normal – with just enough time for an afternoon run in the daylight! I pushed yoga back to tomorrow so I could seize the opportunity.
See y’all for din!