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September 13, 2006



It's been a long time since I've stopped by and I too would like to extend my support to you! What an incredible undertaking! I look forward to reading your updates about how the cooking elective goes.


I want to be in your class, please! I love what you're doing, Julie.

Lea xoxo


Sounds like fun. How about tamales for hispanic heritage month?


All of those wonderful recipes would make a great class recipe book that students could keep and refer to. I'm sure this crossed your mind. :-))

I made a list of the things you'll be making, so I can teach Jack. Think I'll start with the applesauce and waffles.

Thank you for the inspiration!

Lea xo

Joe C

This is so wonderful -- one of your most exciting posts ever. If there is any way I can help please let me know.
Back when I worked at Details magazine as editor at large, James Truman (who later became the editorial director at Conde Nast) asked me to write about learning cooking to "get girls." His point, which applies to boys and girls alike, no matter who they're trying to get, was that when someone you like accepts an invitation to dinner chez vous, he/she will be in your apartment at the end of the evening. And of course he was right.
That may not be an appropriate topic for high school students, however. Best perhaps to focus on recipes and nutrition, eh?


Ivonne, you can't imagine how much fun we're having -- if only we had an actual kitchen, and enough equipment for all the students...

Oh Lea -- after the dinner I had at your house, there's no doubt in my mind that I'd like to be a student in YOUR class. I wish you could come do a guest stint of fantastic Italian classics -- like my favorite, your Gramma Orlandi's tomato sauce...I had thought about the book, and then before I could even mention it, the kids brought it up. I think waffles and applesauce are great ways to start with Jack. Some great childhood memories revolve around making those two foods with my mom.

Thanks for stopping by, Duane. Someday, perhaps, we'll make tamales. Sadly,authentic tamales are at least a two-day undertaking in a fully-equipped kitchen. I have a feeling that in merely four 1/2-hour sessions a week with just a hotplate, tamales are not in my students' near future. However, we have lots of other yummy options, I think, thanks to you and other readers.

Actually, we've already touched on the romance factor, brother dear. Since I referred to it as a "good dating skill", Amber asked the salient question, "but what if you cook a lousy meal for your date?" "Well," I responded, "In that case, the romance probably doesn't go so well..." I'd love to have your help. Want to come up to the Bronx and do a guest stint?

Joe C

Don't know that I'd have much to show the students that you couldn't do a lot better. But we can discuss.


Hi, Julie-
You might be able to get funding to buy supplies for your class on donorschoose.com. Also, I wonder if you could get donations from a housewares store or a supermarket... any plans for a greenmarket field trip in the future or a behind the scenes look at a restaurant kitchen? That would be fun!
Also, since the Food Network tapes right here in NYC, I would write to some of the celebs and ask them to come visit!


Believe me, adolescents are not very tasty. A bit too tough and chewy for my liking. And they don't taste at all like chicken. LOL.

I love what you're doing for the kids, and you're combining the two things you do the most (and I'm sure you do best);teaching and cooking.
What a trouper!



You know, of course, that I think you do heroic work every single day. But every time I read about your classes, and what you are trying to impart to your kids, and compare it to the work I'm doing right now, I am filled with renewed admiration, to a degree I would not have thought possible. You really are an inspiration, Julie.

Incidentally, I have a little souvenir for you that I brought back from jury duty. (Well, not exactly from jury duty, but from a shop down the street from Borough Hall in Kew Gardens.) I will get it to you with all possible speed.


Erm...that last comment was badly phrased. It's not that I don't find it possible to admire you -- I absolutely do -- but I never thought I could admire you even more than I already do, because that's a lot of admiration with which to begin. Sheesh, I am a silly people.

(I'm trying not to break into a chorus of "More Today than Yesterday," here...;)


Hey nani, thanks for all your great suggestions. I've thought of donorschoose, and getting Broadway Panhandler or something like that to make donations. One of my big problems is that I don't even have a real classroom where I'm teaching this -- it's a makeshift room with no storage space. So I don't even really have room for equipment, were I to get it. Right now I have something of a food budget -- the principal is going to reimburse me for weekly expenditures, since I've promised to make an actual dish only once a week.

Class trips would be great fun. I'm going to try to organize a day where we take kids out for an "elective" themed trip -- otherwise, with only half an hour, trips are out of the picture. The same problem with a celeb visit -- it's just too short a period of time.

Hey there Caroline! It's so nice to see/hear from you again. Thanks for your support -- I'm actually having a lot of fun with the kids on this one...

Awww, Bakerina, you is an adorable people. No misinterpretation here. And your admiration is returned exponentially, as you well know. I do have to say, I feel a little sheepish that people seem to think this is such an act of heroism -- I'm just having fun with the kids. Today we talked about how, despite their evil rap in the press, carbs are actually a necessary part of a balanced diet -- especially if you eat the right ones. This is all in preparation for this week's fruit salad, which I'm promoting as a carb-based snack but much better for us than our beloved candy bars...tomorrow we keep preparing for the adventure with a leetle talk about seasonal fruits...


You can make quesadillas (I know I spelled THAT wrong) on a George Foreman grill. Also, instead of an electric hot plate, could you use a butane one, like JoyCook? It would cook faster. Tabouleh (also spelled wrong!) is easy: soak the bulgar in boiling water while you chop tomatoes, parsley & onion. Add lemon juice & olive oil. Drain bulgar and mix it all up. Salt to taste. Yum.

Joe Bellacero

It sounds like you're really having fun. That's great.
By the way, recently I was passing a book store near LaGuardia C.C. and in the window was a hand-lettered sign, "Student Dissection Kits On Sale." You might want to get one, it will make cooking with adolescents that much easier. (Yeah, I noticed the disclaimer you began with, but I wasn't fooled.


Ellen, I don't have a Foreman grill, but I think I'm going to get a hotplate I saw last weekend, that has cast iron plates above an electric element. I'm hoping these will diffuse heat better than just the electric coils. I'm concerned about using butane or any liquid flammable substance in the classroom -- we're in a very small, unventilated space. Tabouleh's a great idea, too.

Joe, you should come visit one day, and help me cook the kids -- I mean cook WITH the kids...


Congrats, Julie! Your class sounds wonderful! And I sure hope that you will be sharing those ethnic heritage recipes from your students and their families!

But I disagree about the toaster oven. I think you could make 16 cookies, especially if you prepare the dough one day and bake them off the next class (slice and bake icebox cookies would be optimal here).

Just a thought. Keep up the good work, teach! --Gina (www.lindseysluscious.blogspot.com)

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This post makes me realize the energy of words and pictures. As always your things are just gorgeous and I am grateful that you let us look in! Have a good week!


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