August 20
-Welcome and Class Expectation Handout
-Overview of Food as seen through History, Culture and Identity
-Taste-testing seasonal homemade fig jams

August 21
-Discussion on personal favorite and worst foods
-Discussion on what students would like to cook this year
-Kitchen safety guidelines
-Taste-testing school muscadines

August 27
-Discussion on the Spice Trade
-Spice Identification game/activity
-Taste-testing spice blends in extra virgin olive oil: za’atar, herbs de Provence, garam masala, and others
-Taste-testing raw vs toasted spices (benefits)
Where to purchase:
Za’atar - World Market or Yafa Halal Market (Matthews), some Harris Teeters
Herbs de Provence - World Market, some big chain supermarkets
Garam Masala - World Market, some big chain supermarkets, New Asia (Stallings)

Further Reading: No Innocent Spice: The Secret Story of Nutmeg (click on article or listen below)

August 28
-Discussion about mirepoix and other mother sauces/bases
-Prepare Puerto Rican sofrito (chop, remove seeds, blend)
-Sample sofrito raw and sautéd: with plantain chips (Trader Joes) and within Puerto Rican black beans (similar recipe here) and rice

Sofrito Recipe
Slow Cooker Black Bean Recipe

Where to purchase ingredients:
Compare Foods (for recao, ajices dulces, cilantro). The other ingredients are readily available at your neighborhood supermarket.

Further Reading:
All About Sofrito: Origins, History, and Variations
The True Story of Wild Rice, North America's Most Misunderstood Grain

Assignment #1:
Which five key ingredients are the most widely used in your home or in your family food traditions? Send me your response via email at carina.brossy@arborbrook - (Subject line: ASSIGNMENT #1)