Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cooking class

As I mentioned, spring vacation has begun and so I have a slightly less busy schedule than usual. Even the last couple of classes before spring break, the kids are asking as they walk in the door,

"Can we play a game today? We don't want to study."

That's fine with me. A few games make for a nice break for me too and doing something unusual is fun for all of us. So at the kindergarten and nursery school I brought cookies and we did a little role playing. I made up a "house" with a table and chairs and a tablecloth from home. I set up my tray of cookies and had each child come to my "front door" and knock. They were invited in and offered cookies and they got to pretend they were visiting me. Sort of fun and no matter what English they've learned (or not learned) it's always fun for a child to get a cookie!

On the home front we've played Monopoly in one class and SET in another. And for Monday's 5th graders we did some spur of the moment cookie baking. These are Chocolate Oatmeal cookies and though a little too sweet for most Japanese kids, they were still pretty good and I guess my 5th graders had a good time making them.

Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
200gm. chocolate or 1 cup chocolate chips
1 can condensed milk
1 Tablespoon margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

  • Mix (A) ingredients together
  • Combine (B) ingredients in pan (be careful not to burn)
  • Pat (A) into flat pan (save 1/4 of mixture)
  • Pour (B) over all
  • Top with remaining cookie mixture
  • Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees (170 degrees C.) Burns easily
  • Cool and cut into bars

  • Last night's 5th and 6th grade class were invited to come early so that we could cook an American meal together. These are my quiet kids that I can't get to say boo. First problem, two of the three kids forgot! So much for looking forward to a special English class! I wondered if they just hadn't understood my invitation, but since one girl did show I guess it wasn't me. We called the other two students and one came running, but the boy didn't realize until after the class was over but he came to apologize.

    The American dinner was the same as I'd done last year with that 6th grade class... Cherokee Casserole, Potato Soup and Rice Crispies Cookies. I'm doing Cherokee Casserole with one more class this week so I'll post the recipe then. Casseroles are unheard of in Japan maybe because many Japanese housewives don't have ovens. Also because a casserole can't compare to the typical "many dishes in small amounts and lots of different flavors and textures" meal that Japanese favor.

    Same horrified faces when I made the girls sample the olive but in the end both students ate quite a lot though most of the cooking was done in silence except for my endless monologue and questioning (no answers). Sigh. I wish they would LOOK like they were having fun! Interestingly, all three are planning to continue next year though I had assumed at least the 6th grade girl would be quitting since she will enter jr. high school from April. And no. They didn't want their pictures taken again last night...


    Rae Ann said...

    I can't image any quite 6th grader. Here I guess we wish they would be more quite and there you wish they would make more noise. Do they laugh? I'm sure it was an experience they will not forget. How nice of you to introduce them to american cooking. I didn't know that typical homes there don't have ovens!!! I would find that odd. Rae Ann

    meggie said...

    I would love the Japanese food I am sure~ not much sugar, & no dairy foods!
    I am sure that must be why Japanese people are so slender.

    Mrs. Goodneedle said...

    The classes are as much fun for you as your students, you easily communicate that enthusiasm. They are lucky to have such a dedicated teacher!

    Shasta said...

    Hmm, painfully why teenagers. I wonder if it would help to mix up the groups, so that the 6th graders get to see other kids who do try to talk, and how the interaction is less awkward than not talking.

    BrendaLou said...

    Cherokee that what you made last year?

    BrendaLou said...

    Tanya, I got a question from a local friend who reads your blog but for some reason can't seem to leave a comment. she wants to know what size pan, 8X8, 9X9 or 9X13 your used for your cookie bars.