It was a week early, but teachers at Tucumcari High School got a Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings which they said was “as good as it gets.”
The dinner which was prepared by the high school’s culinary arts students under the supervision of their teacher Gail Balzano was served to the teachers in the home economics room.
According to assistant high school principal Rex Maddaford the turkey dinner is something of a revival of a tradition of years before that he for one is extremely happy that has begun again. “It’s not only great food,” said Maddaford as he dined, “but it gives the students a chance to learn a little more about preparing food. It also helps them learn responsibility.”
Culinary arts instructor Balzano said much the same as Maddaford regarding the perfecting her charges’ cuisine-creating capabilities on their teachers.
“I had them divide up in groups,” said Whiteside “and each one took on a different responsibility with dinner. One group did sweet potatoes and another did the vegetables and another did the dressing and so forth. Each class made a turkey though and everything was from scratch, too. These kids get too much powders, microwave and instant stuff. No, they had to it all from scratch.”
Balzano said she had heard that the dinner had been done sometime in the past but she has only done it for the two years she has been with the Tucumcari School System.
On their parts, the high school students said they were very proud of their accomplishment with the food and they had indeed learned things from the experience which somewhat surprised them. “Well, I learned about the importance of cooperation and teamwork and how important they are in a place like a kitchen,” said student Jade Glenn, and I also picked up new skills on cooking, too.”
Their teachers said they were happy that the young chefs had learned from their assignments but they were even happier about the food. “We’ve been smelling the cooking in the hall for a couple of days as they made it,” said school media specialist Martha Whiteside, “and we’re sure happy they made it and are serving it to us.”
After they had served the teachers, students who had been serving the food and drinks to the instructors got their chance at the food they created.