ENOSBURG FALLS — Last Saturday’s free Thanksgiving meal now has donated rolls courtesy of Enosburg Elementary School students — with a little help from RiseVT.
The Messenger wrote about the second annual free Thanksgiving meal a few weeks back. Farm to Table’s Bonnie Hayes organized the meal, aided by Main Street’s freshly open 242 Texas BBQ and Montgomery’s Belfry restaurant, and now by the local American Legion, Post 42, which is hosting the meal.
At the time, Hayes told the Messenger the meal still needed donated food, including rolls.
Moretti read that article — and said as RiseVT’s school-based wellness specialist, knew just what to do.
Moretti enlisted the go-to volunteer culinary wunderkinds, fifth grade students from Jo Laggis and Alyssa Wieland’s Enosburg Elementary classes.
“I thought, ‘I know just the people who can make some awesome rolls,’” Moretti told those students ahead of Monday’s dough-making.
Moretti already visited these students once this school year to talk nutrition — i.e. how your everyday chicken nuggets could be nutritionally improved — and food preservation, how people might can food for long journeys, which the students learned by canning pickles.
So they knew the drill when Moretti and Amy Brewer, Enosburgh’s appointed RiseVT specialist, returned Monday morning to supervise the creation of rolls for the community’s free Thanksgiving meal.
RiseVT took advantage of King Arthur Flour’s Bake for Good Kids program. King Arthur Flour provides recipes and ingredients to make bread from scratch, with an emphasis on the math and science aspects of bread-making — on the condition that the baking kids donate their product to a local organization.
Moretti, Brewer, Laggis and Wieland circulated around the classroom during the hour the students spent preparing the bread dough, helping the students when they needed it — which usually meant mitigating cases of too much or too little of an ingredient, or advising students never to measure ingredients over the mixing bowl.
Moretti told the Messenger that students let the dough rise that afternoon and planned to deliver the donated rolls this morning.
Moretti also shared observations from several of the baking students.
After nearly a half-hour washing dishes, Daniel Muprhy observed, “I’m all wrinkly.”
Carter Longe said bread-making “is fun and awesome.”
Laila Tuck noted the bread “is homemade ... or school-made.”
Dominic Larose said students “made sure not to use too much flour or overwork the dough so the rolls aren’t hard.”
Ethan Ovitt said, “When you are doing anything new, you might want to read the directions twice.”
And Gavin Leach concluded, “It’s the yeast we can do to help the community.”
Moretti said students used their math skills to determine they prepared about 320 rolls, although that number slightly shrunk to 300 after taste-testing.
Moretti said in an email after the baking sessions, “What is nice is that the students barely noticed that they were using skills they are developing in class — math, following stepwise instruction, observation, comparison, collaboration.
“All of those skills were being reinforced in a natural way that, upon reflection, surprised and excited the students to make the meaningful connection.”
UPDATE: We updated this story around 10 a.m. to include comments from the students, provided by Moretti.