Grickle Grass & Growing Chefs!
This blog will be taking us back in time to a couple of Saturdays ago when Growing Chefs! had the honour of being part of the 5th Annual Grickle Grass Festival. Boy, was it a delicious blast!
Outside, we had our intrepid volunteers at The Beet’s food tent. Underneath iridescent bunting and a vegetable-themed wreath, rows of shiny serving dishes were lined up. They were like little sentries (if not square and made of metal) – stationed to keep guard against empty stomachs and flavorless, unhealthy snacks.
Soon paper plates were piled high with steaming braised pork tacos garnished with pickled radishes, kale and quinoa salad with raisins so plump they were like tiny pillows for your taste buds, and butternut squash mac n’ cheese with those perfect crispy edges that you all fought your siblings for around the dinner table way back when (…or yesterday).
Inside the museum’s cool stone walls, kids were sprawled on blankets in the midst of creating emotional food masterpieces in Foods With Moods. With an apple serving as the noggin, cloves were transformed into grimaces and grins, noodles gave golden curls, and black eyed peas were eyes that you were almost certain gave you a wink just as you looked away.
While apples were finding out how they felt, there was also a hint of enticing tomato in the air. Across the room was our salsa station. At the ready was a kaleidoscope of red onions, green bell peppers, spicy jalapenos, fresh cilantro and pureed tomatoes. Following a simple recipe, step by step, nearly 100 kids filled their little mason jars with fresh salsa made all by themselves (with just a few hints from our volunteers).
Before we knew it the sun had set, the trees were glowing with a twinkle light or two and now popcorn was king. On the offer were a variety of shakers for dusting or dousing your pops with flavor, or, the highlight of the evening (as was word on the street) – bacon bourbon caramel corn. All the bags got snapped up, and then had the pleasure of touring the late night maze of the Children’s Museum after dark – through an indoor tree house, steamy caves, space ship docking bays, an artic tundra and a glowing whale skeleton (he would have survived if only someone had given him a taco!)
Even the (ever so talented!) bands got to partake in the Growing Chefs! love - with the guidance of Chef Katherine, the Museum's Tween Advisory Council (a committee of tween-aged volunteers) made all the food for the bands to fill up on before bringing down the house.
All in all, it was yet another incredible experience. The festival is so unique, a real coming together of food, music, art and community all thriving in one place. We can’t help but always feel so at home at Grickle!