Day One at Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp - Session Three, 2015

Today we launched our first week of programming from INSIDE our new space in the Abundance Community Garden in the Bayview District. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful partnership with Nina, Cheryl and Christine at Abundance!

We started our morning by playing a game and getting to know each other a little bit. We had some new faces and some old and even a couple of campers who came back for more after being in Sessions One and Two!

After our morning taste of stone fruits (where campers and counselors could be found listening to, touching, smelling, looking at and tasting peaches, pluots and nectarines) we got a chance to take a tour of our surroundings with Cheryl! Cheryl showed us around the bounty that Abundance Community Garden had to offer. We learned about how different fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown in close proximity to deter pests and about the effect the drought has had on what has (and hasn't) been able to grow this year. We used all our senses, again, to experience everything in the garden and then, after a brief lesson on the correct way to pick things, we got down to cooking!

We chopped veggies and sautéed some for the filling for wontons. Then we all got to make our own spring rolls. It was amazing to see all the bright colors and to watch the kids augment their recipes by running back and forth to the garden for various herbs. How lucky are we?

After lunch and recess we were joined by two very special chefs: Jen and Darren from Da Flora Restaurant in North Beach. Jen and Darren have both been cooking for over 20 years (they caught the bug young) and, besides being husband and wife cook almost every day together in the intimate Italian Restaurant where they work. We learned that they work so hard that, when they want to take a vacation, the restaurant actually closes.

J&D taught us how and why we needed to mix two different types of flour to make the right texture for pasta. We made the dough, cut it into pieces and then got to feed them all through the pasta making attachment until is was as this as paper. Some campers used the electric machine and some the hand crank and most liked either one or the other more.

The pasta, which we paired with sautéed summer squash and heirloom tomatoes, was delizioso and everyone went back for second and thirds.

After clean up and journaling it was time to go home. Our first day sped by and I can't wait until tomorrow!