Thanksgiving Challenge

Students from the Food & Nutrition and English as a Second Language classes worked together to prepare a turkey meal with all the trimmings in a Thanksgiving Culinary Challenge. The meal provided a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving feast for new international students enrolled at Hamilton District Christian High.

Students roasted five turkeys with homemade stuffing and peeled 24 lbs of carrots, 30 lbs of potatoes, 27 lbs of fresh beets, and 16 lbs of butternut squash. They also prepared one bushel of Courtland apples to make homemade applesauce and fresh apple crumble. The meal incorporated organically-grown vegetables donated from Kleinikkink Farms in Alliston.

For many, this was the first time discovering (perhaps to their surprise!) the giblets and neck in the turkey cavity. Many students had never worked with and eaten fresh beets, either. It was a learning experience both for those students who have recently arrived here from different countries and those who have lived in Canada for longer.

Student Leah Siebenga noted that “making food with a lot of people is a lot more fun than making it by yourself.” And Angel Tian shared that she was impressed by the “how her classmates were very good at learning new things and helping each other.” The consensus among students was that dining on the food that they cooked together was a highlight.

“The challenge provided the chance to learn how to do all the different tasks to combine them into one large meal to serve others,” reflected Hannah VanderStoep. With that kind of learning and experience, maybe some of these students will be chipping in more with Thanksgiving dinner preparation at their homes and homestays this weekend! Madison VanWingerden’s carrots, for example, might make it onto the Thanksgiving menu: “they were delicious, moist, and I will definitely make these for my family.”