Friday, October 3, 2014

The Altruism Project

They say people cook with love, with the heart...

So, my petit gourmand is in 3rd grade now. She's got a really great teacher who I hear nothing but good things about...from Viv as well as other kids we know who have already had her.  That's a good sign because kids will take any opportunity to tell you how much or what they didn't like about a teacher, but they all love this lady. The class is studying altruism right now.  An assignment came home to go along with this unit.  The kids are to come up with some sort of altruistic deed that they will carry out.  Then, they have to write a descriptive paragraph about their project, how it affected the people they helped, how it affected themselves.  This is awesome and it's only 3rd grade.

My daughter heard at church that our Youth group is always asking for lunch to be donated since they meet immediately following the 11:00 service.  They don't have much of a budget for lunches. So Vivian decided she wanted to make lunch for them.  The plan was for me to act merely as her assistant and she would cook, assemble and cook a lasagna all by herself.  I took the job.  I really just stood back and gave instructions and some occasional advice.  I posed the question "Ground beef or Italian sausage?"  I was really curious to see how her thought process would work here.  She considered it and decided the sausage would have a "richer" flavor. So we made a special trip to Publix to get ground Italian sausage.  I think she made the right call!

Preparing the onions

Browning the Italian sausage

The onions started getting to her; thus the "onion goggles"

I'm here to tell you, as the proud mama I tend to be, my sweet child did this project all on her own.  She chopped onions and then added them to the skillet as she browned her sausage.  She mixed Romano, cottage cheese, mozzarella, eggs and fresh parsley from our garden.  She assembled the lasagna and had it all ready for the oven on Saturday evening.  

Putting it all together

Ready for the oven

Sunday morning, we baked it partially then packed it in an insulated container before heading off to church.  Upstairs in the youth room, she finished baking the lasagna then she assembled a Caesar salad, making sure to finely grate fresh Parmesan. 

Grating fresh Parmesan

As the youth group arrived, they all commented about how good it smelled...they were right.  As I helped bring it all to the table, it was pretty evident to me that these teenagers were impressed by what they saw.  Viv had made a beautiful lasagna and salad.


 The finished product

I'm not sure what they were expecting, but I know they were pleasantly surprised.  They invited us to stay and eat with them which was extra cool that the teenagers wanted their chef to also be their guest.  Many, many compliments later, we had a super easy clean-up because there wasn't a stitch of food leftover!

Everyone with full tummies

I left there feeling immense pride that she took on this project and she carried it out so successfully.  She's pretty modest, but I know her. She was feeling that sweet satisfaction that a job well done brings.  I'm so excited about her work that I can't wait for her to turn it in to the teacher!  And to the 3rd grade teachers at Rosewood, I thank you for creating such a meaningful project for our kids to experience the beauty of altruism.

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