Despite the fact that it's in the 80's today, last night found several of the American teachers and a plethora of the students who live on campus in the school kitchen baking cut out Christmas cookies.
the students started to filter in, Alva walked up to me and said,
"Teacher, do you have more dough? A LOT of kids are coming." There were
six batches of homemade, chilled sugar cookie dough sitting out on five
of the six tables that were set up, along with flour, rolling pins, and
cookie cutters. Soon the kitchen was full of students. They all washed
their hands and gathered around the tables. Matt, Emily, and Zach
started explaining how to roll out the dough and cut out the cookies.
Zach would slam his hand, palm down, onto the table to demonstrate
proper cookie cutting technique and all the students at the table would
jump! One boy even looked him in the face and said, "Really?!" As the
cookies were being cut out the students would bring them up to the front
where there were baking sheets ready and waiting. The students tried to
divide the dough up amongst themselves, but if there wasn't a lot,
without being told, they stepped aside and made sure that everyone had a
turn cutting out the cookies. Soon the first tray had filled and was in
the oven. Matt became our oven master, sliding full sheets of un-baked
cookies in, watching them as the became that lovely golden brown, and
them pulling them out when they were just right.
Matt manned the oven, Zach and Emily continued to work amongst the
students. Zach carried a bag of flour with him for the students that
needed a little extra at their table. Emily organized students to help
scoop the cookies off the hot baking sheets and onto the cooling racks.
She also helped to over see the loading up of empty cookie sheets.
took charge of the frosting station. He and a group of girls set out to
mix up green and red frosting for all the cookies armed only with a
recipe. It turned out really well though! And soon they were doing a
test run to check the consistency.
the last cookies were being slid into the ovens, the students started
cleaning up their tables. They helped wash the dishes they'd used, put
away the rolling pins, and then wipe down their tables. That way, they
were ready for phase two: decorating. The cookies soon were distributed
to each table, along with a tin of red frosting, green frosting, and
multi-color jimmies. Of course, this is the hard part, because there's
all these cookies in front of you. Pretty soon we noticed that the
students weren't just decorating the cookies; they were also eating
is when Mark made the announcement that we were going to hand out
cookies while we carol next week. We allowed each of the students to eat
ONE cookie, then we asked that they bag the rest. Two per bag. Don't
seal it, otherwise there will be condensation and they'll get soggy.
Most of the students were great! Alva sat and acted as quality control
as she put the packaged cookies into the red bag we'd brought to carry
them. After fifty-some bags, we told the students that they could eat
the rest or take them home with them.
and half hours later, the kitchen was as clean as we'd left it with
everything in it's place. All the cookies had either been eaten,
packaged, or taken home. The students had done a great job, both with
the cookies themselves and helping to clean up. Emily and I guestimate
that over 200 cookies were made last night! And it was a wonderful
holiday experience for us to have with the students. :)