The International Rescue Committee hosts a Garden Club at Clarkston High School each week. This week, I was invited to lead a knife skills class. We focused on cool weather crops that are becoming seasonal this time of year.
We first worked with leafy greens like a kale. We discussed that the texture of the hardy winter greens sometimes makes them hard to eat so often times we’ll either massage greens or cut them into ribbons.
We saved the kale ribbons for our salad and then got to work on the carrots. Students learned how to cut coins, quarters, oblong ovals, sticks, matchsticks, and cubes.
The students also learned to make their own salad dressing, using a selection of oils, vinegars, and other spices and sweeteners.
Then we learned how to safely cut round vegetables such as beets. We cut a flat face first to face downward on our cutting board so our vegetable wouldn’t roll. We needed to peel the tough outer skin so we faced the knife away from us and peeled the skin from the top down to the cutting board. Then we learned to slice the beets, further cut them into sticks, and then to dice them.
Before the end of class, we had a chance to try all of our salads together.