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Episode 63: Reimagining Thanksgiving 2020 – Happy Steaksgiving!

What will your Thanksgiving table look like this year? For some it will be the traditional table with turkey and all the trimmings. However, for others Thanksgiving 2020 will look a little different.

On this episode of the Supercast, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey talks to some students in the ProStart Culinary Program at Mountain Ridge High School. They share their ideas on how to reimagine the Thanksgiving meal, trading the traditional turkey and the number of seats at the table for something else. Listen as these talented student cooks and bakers share their culinary best.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. What will your Thanksgiving table look like this year? For some, it will be the traditional table with turkey and all the trimmings. For others, Thanksgiving 2020 will look a little different. On this episode of the Supercast, we talked with some students in the ProStart Culinary Program at Mountain Ridge High School. They share their ideas on how to re-imagine the Thanksgiving meal trading, the traditional turkey and the number of seats at the table for something else. Listen, as these talented students cooks and bakers share their culinary best. We start with a visit to Kyley Anderson's virtual classroom Zoomers.

Kyley Anderson:
Hey, how's it going Dr. Godfrey?

Superintendent:
Nice to see everyone. Thanks for letting me join your class this morning.

Kyley:
Thanks for being here.

Superintendent:
We're excited. You guys are interested in ProStart.  So tell me what's the assignment we talking about today?

Kyley:
We are basically re-imagining Thanksgiving. So, with COVID going on, most of our celebrations are much smaller this year. And so these students chose a protein, a couple sides, a roll, and one dessert, and just kept it super simple. And they're basically able to take it wherever they want. So it's kind of their dream Thanksgiving menu.

Superintendent:
There will be three people at my house for Thanksgiving this year. So that's exactly what we have to do is re-imagine Thanksgiving. Adrian, you just gave me two thumbs up. Let's hear about your re-imagined Thanksgiving.

Adrian:
Well, I've never really had a big Thanksgiving, but one of the difficulties I ran into this year was the fact that my dad has developed an allergy to salt. So he can't have that much without pretty much passing out. And then my step-mom is developing a sensitivity to gluten. So she can't have that either. I had to do some research on how to make Thanksgiving eatable so no one will get sick from whatever they eat. So I was able to find some recipes that have salt substitutes for turkey. It's in her butter turkey, and primarily uses rosemary to replace the smell because it brings in that good flavor. And then ,along with a gluten-free pumpkin pie. I wasn't sure how it would work, but actually it's pretty good.

Superintendent:
How did you make it gluten free pumpkin pie.

Adrian:
So pretty much, instead of using Graham crackers, you crush up some crackers and then added some seasonings along with that for the pie crust. And it turns out that in pumpkin pie filling there's really no gluten.

Superintendent:
Great. So you have made a custom meal for the allergies and difficulties that your family might experience if they ate traditional Thanksgiving fare. That's great. How about you, Aaron?

Aaron:
So normally I have a very like traditional Thanksgiving, whole family, big gathering, turkey, stuffing, everything. So I really had to rethink it because it's just going to be my immediate family that lives with me. So I did like a kind of Steaksgiving. Steak will be the main dish I am going to do.

Superintendent:
Uh, now Aaron here coined a term. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I'm in love with that term. I want a shirt with that term on it. Will you say it again please?

Aaron:
Steaksgiving.

Superintendent:
Steaksgiving. I think I'm too late to make my Thanksgiving a Steaksgiving, but that is in my future. Okay, go ahead. Sorry. You just blew my mind.

Aaron:
Yeah, sounds really good. So I'm doing a rib-eye with a garlic butter. So cook that, and then, for my sides, I was gonna do garlic roasted potatoes and corn salsa to spice it up and then just some soft bread rolls. And I'm going to do a chocolate sheet cake with dessert with that chocolate ice.

Superintendent:
How many invitations have you had to Thanksgiving? I would imagine that the everyone who heard that menu would want that to be a part of their day.

Aaron:
Just immediate family.

Superintendent:
Okay. Well, they're in for a treat.

Aaron:
Yeah.

Superintendent:
Michael, how about you? What do you have planned?

Michael:
So, I did more of a classic Thanksgiving. We actually raised the turkey this year, so I just did a classic roast turkey with rosemary and garlic and onion with some lemon. And then, the garlic mashed potatoes with a fruit salad. My mom always called it fluff. It's like a creamy, fluff for a salad.

Superintendent:
I applaud you. I think that's really cool that you did it start to finish raise your own turkey. That's very cool. Where did you find all these studentsMs. Anderson? I'm only on the third student and I'm blown away by every single one of them.

Kyley:
They're very creative. They come up with a lot of great ideas. They're super dedicated. I know all of this makes me re-think my own menu plan.

Superintendent:
Moving on. Olivia, tell me about your Thanksgiving plans.

Olivia:
Well, I kept it pretty traditional. My family just loves turkey and we loved the leftover turkey sandwiches. So I did a traditional roasted turkey. And then for my side, we love mashed potatoes. So I paired that with some garlic and some chives. For my dessert I chose to do a key lime pie. Not all of my family likes the same kind of pie. I don't like apple. My sister doesn't like pumpkin. So I chose to spice it up and make something different.

Superintendent:
Do you like getting to control a little bit? What pie everyone's going to eat? Guess what? It's key lime everybody. It's kind of a surprise to them, but they're going to eat it anyway.

Olivia:
Yes, they will. And like it.

Superintendent:
Do you make gravy for your mashed potatoes?

Olivia:
Yeah.

Superintendent:
I'm imagining it right now and I just need to imagine what type of gravy you have there, if your gravy, is just the runoff.

Olivia:
Oh yeah, we just do super traditional at my house.

Superintendent:
Okay. Olivia, do you make a well, when you put the mashed potatoes on your plate? Do you form a well or a volcano of gravy in the center to hold the gravy in and then strategically break the wall on the side of it so that it can flow onto your plate at the appropriate time?

Olivia:
You can't do it otherwise. It's the way to do it.

Superintendent:
Thank you, Olivia, for backing me up on that. I feel very connected to all of you right now. Let me just say, food connects people. And I feel like I'm part of the group now because we're talking through it together. Tell me about your menu for Thanksgiving, Adrian.

Adrian:
The traditional, but with extra things. So for the turkey, classic turkey because we like to have leftovers, like Olivia said. And then for the stuffing, I decided to do a Durrito cornbread stuffing. So instead of the bread, it's a jalapeno corn bread and there's spicy Durritos in it. So it's not just one note. It's adds new flavor to Thanksgiving.

Superintendent:
That sounds awesome. I've never heard of half of these things that you're doing. Adrian, replacing salt with rosemary. I mean, right from the start I haven't heard of these things. There's a lot to learn. Okay.

Adrian:
For my other side dish, I did a kale and olive oil mashed potato.

Superintendent:
Kale is angry spinach in my mind. Any dessert?

Adrian:
Yes. I actually tried making this dessert already. It's a caramel apple cheesecake. My family loved it. It was super good.

Superintendent:
I think I've just got goosebumps. Caramel apple cheesecake. Okay. They all get an "A" right Ms. Anderson? I mean, this is a work even just thinking about the way they're describing it is a work.

Kyley:
They do a good job.

Superintendent:
Okay, Jordan, tell us about your menu.

Jordan:
We're going to be doing a smoked turkey and my sides will be a stuffing and mashed potatoes. And then I will have pumpkin bread and mini cheesecakes for dessert.

Superintendent:
Mini cheesecakes.

Jordan:
Yes.

Superintendent:
Like pop in my mouth mini cheesecake? I'm just trying to picture the size of the cheesecake. Are you solely responsible for this or is your mom or dad? Your sous chef?

Jordan:
My dad.

Superintendent:
Your dad is your sous chef. So does he execute pretty well? What you tell him to do? What do you have planned?

Ariana:
So every year for Thanksgiving, my family's pretty small. So we usually go over to someone else's house and we have Thanksgiving with them. I'm cooking Thanksgiving with my mother this year. We plan on having a bit of a blended Thanksgiving. So it's going to be some traditional recipes from Mexico, where she's from and some nutritional things from here that you would normally find. So we're going to have the normal oven baked turkey, but, I don't have much yet.  I know for sure we're going to do some dessert tamales,  and some desserts to my list.

Superintendent:
So dessert tamales. Now, wait a second. You don't mean like hot tamales, like Mike and Ike type stuff? So how else can a tamale be a dessert?

Ariana:
Started like this I guess, flour these breaded. It's difficult to describe.

Superintendent:
What's the filling?

Ariana:
Filling is typically one layer would be chicken and some sauce. But for a dessert one you would typically just put strawberries, pineapples, just sweet fruits.

Superintendent:
Yeah. I've had the regular, or as you would call it, the savory tamale. But I have not had the dessert tamale before. That's something else. Um, wow, that sounds fantastic. What are some of the other recipes from Mexico that you'll be using?

Ariana:
I'll probably be using a recipe to slowly a soup that is made in Mexico.

Superintendent:
I love the blended idea. An international Thanksgiving recipe list. That's awesome. Maddie, what's on your menu.

Maddie:
Also pretty traditional because my family likes to keep going. We do have a perfect turkey. And then for the first side dish we have cheese potatoes. They are covered with an onion crunch stuff at the top and lots more cheese, lots of cheese. For dessert, we're doing a hot fudge cake with a Vanilla Bean ice cream on it. And then it's going to be covered in blackberries and blueberries.

Superintendent:
You were very precise in the way you described your dessert. You did not say it was going to be Vanilla ice cream. You didn't say it was going to be Old Fashioned Vanilla. You didn't say it was going to be French Vanilla. You said it was going to be Vanilla Bean. Is that a conscious choice?

Maddie:
Yes.

Superintendent:
Why is it going to be Vanilla Bean?

Maddie:
I just has like a more rich flavor.

Superintendent:
That sounds wonderful. Bryce.

Bryce:
Sorry. I have a little nephew running around here.

Superintendent:
No problem, Bryce.

Bryce:
Thanksgiving will be actually nice. Let's see. So I don't really know a whole lot about what actually we're doing. I just saw that I'm in charge of a dish. Then the side that I am going to be making for my family's Thanksgiving is going to be a smoked mac and cheese with the smoked gouda and smoked cheddar. Hopefully I can put it on our smoker for a little bit. And then the other one I did was butter bread pull aparts. It's a recipe that I got from my aunt. Just get Rhodes rolls and put them into a little bundt pan drizzled with butter.

Superintendent:
I love when the name of food tells you what to do with it.

Bryce:
Exactly. These are pull aparts. This is what's happening. You will pull them apart.

Superintendent:
I can totally taste the smoked macaroni and cheese. You can make it and then put it in the smoker.

Bryce:
Yeah. So the way that I make it is me and my sister have done this Mac and cheese recipe. It's really easy. Then what you do at the end is you put breadcrumbs on the top and then toasted in the oven and then we throw it in our smoker. Our smoker has been starting up recently.

Superintendent:
Yeah. Let me just say that sounds fantastic. And I marvel at what every single one of you are doing.

Stay with us. When we come back, what is the ProStart Program and what does it do for students hoping to pursue a culinary career? We'll find out next.

Commercial:
Hello. My name is Steven Hall. I'm the Director of the Jordan Education Foundation. Every year, the Jordan Education Foundation, together with magical volunteers, helps provide Christmas for students who might otherwise go without during the holiday season. While many things have changed since the pandemic, one thing does remains the same. That's our desire to help students. Thanks this year to three major donations from Larry H. Miller Charities, Discover Card, Kennecott Rio Tinto, and many other individuals together with the support and the generosity of Walmart in South Jordan, we will provide Christmas for at least 400 students in Jordan school District. We need your support. We need you to help actually go to Walmart and collect the gifts that the students have chosen online. This will allow us to offer a safe curbside delivery for kids and their families. Join us in bringing smiles and love to students in need. During this holiday season, please sign up to volunteer to shop for these students on December 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th, between the hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The website sign up is jefchristmasforkids.org. There you can sign up as a volunteer and you can choose a date to shop. Spread the word for others to sign up as well. Be one of Santa's helpers this holiday season and provide Christmas for kids. Thank you so much from every one of us here at the Jordan Education Foundation.

Superintendent:
I'm here with ProStart students from Mountain Ridge High School. Aaron, describe for listeners who may not be familiar with ProStart what it is.

Aaron:
Prostar is a foods class. It's the highest foods class that you can take in high school. So first you have to take foods one and two, and then you can take Prostart. ProStart is just a really great class. You get to learn a lot of new skills, get to meet new people. You get to compete in a few different competitions and it's a really fun class.

Superintendent:
Tell me about the competition. What does that look like?

Aaron:
Um, so basically you have a team with knives from the kitchen. It's not like that. It's a cooking challenge where you make a main dish and a side and a dessert, and then you compete against other ProStart schools. So we actually got fifth in State last year. That's pretty awesome for a brand new school, particularly in the first year.

Superintendent:
So I've watched a few cooking shows and some of them are more related to cooking and others are more related to a game show. What type of, what is your competition look like? I've heard a little bit about it. Do you get a recipe that you then have to execute or do you have to come up with your own? How does that look?

Aaron:
So we get to come up with our own recipe. We talk about as a team and there's usually, I think there were four of us with one person outside of the ring that kind of just talks us through it and helps us and has the recipe in his hand or her hand.

Superintendent:
So you go against other schools and just compete with them and see who has the best dish?  Is the person who's just reading the recipe, flipping out because they can't touch anything? I think that would be really hard. They can't touch anything so they can test taste.

Aaron:
So, say we like give them a spoon of something to try. They can test it, but they can not touch our food. We could get disqualified if they do.

Superintendent:
Okay. Do you learn about careers in ProStart related to food?

Aaron:
Yeah, there's a lot of different careers that we get to learn about. We get to learn about like restaurant creators and photos, careers to do with food. And there's a lot of opportunities in the food industry.

Superintendent:
Are you looking at any of those opportunities for yourself?

Aaron:
Um, I think it'd be pretty cool to work on a cruise ship and cook and get a trial. That would be nice in the future.

Superintendent:
Yeah, isn't really the way to go yet, but give it a little bit. By the time you're ready, the cruise industry will be ready for you.

Aaron:
Yup.

Superintendent:
Okay. Sounds great. Kezia, what made you want to take the ProStart class?

Kezia:
I just really like to cook and bake and I wanted to learn how to make more new things. I feel like I have expanded the list of thing I know how to make now.

Superintendent:
Had you been cooking much before you took the ProStart class?

Kezia:
I love to bake. I bake a lot. And also it's between baking and cooking. Once I get bored of one or the other, I can switch.

Superintendent:
Oh yeah. So what's your go-to, baking or cooking? If you were on Tik-Tok and it said baking on one side and cooking on the other, which direction would you walk?

Kezia:
Probably baking.

Superintendent:
The baking side. Okay. I got you. Um, what's your specialty? What's your go-to, your signature dish or signature creation?

Kezia:
I don't really have one. I like to make pies. That's one of my favorite things to make.

Superintendent:
Okay. Fantastic. Jordan, what made you want to take ProStart classes?

Jordan:
Uh, Kezia. She brought up the idea and then Ms. Anderson, I had her last year. So I thought it'd be fun to do it again.

Superintendent:
What do you like to make most to bake? Do you cook?

Jordan:
Um, I like cooking.

Superintendent:
Tell me, now there are certain terms I've heard earlier. We were talking about this. What are some of the things that you've learned in ProStart that you did not know how to do before?

Jordan:
Um, definitely the knife cuts. We have gone more into plating and need some flaws.

Superintendent:
The knife cuts.

Jordan:
Yes.

Superintendent:
Knife cuts sounds a little redundant. Tell me what are the knife cuts.

Jordan:
Um, it helps you measure your food so you can cook everything evenly. So when we get told to have our potatoes cubed, we know what size we should have.

Superintendent:
Jordan, you mentioned plating. What have you learned about plating?

Jordan:
Um, we've learned how the odd numbers look best and to keep it clean and simple. And there's many different ways you can have a certain food look good just by the way you plated it. Uh, there's the artistry to do drizzle stuff and that sort of thing.

Superintendent:
Okay. An odd number. You put an odd number because that feels good on the plate.

Jordan:
It just looks good and it just makes everything complete.

Superintendent:
Okay. Very nice. Um, now, as you've been learning art, is there something that you have wanted to make that you haven't made yet? Like your white whale, your Mount Everest? Aaron, tell me, what is your white whale?

Aaron:
Um, it's called a Baked Alaska and I've wanted to make it for awhile. I've just never gotten around to doing it. It's a kind of a complicated dish, a dessert dish, fire is involved. You get a light it on fire once you're done.

Superintendent:
Is that really the appeal? Anything that's set on fire?

Aaron:
Yeah, it's very pretty.

Superintendent:
Okay. So a Baked Alaska is in your future perhaps. And how appropriate that Alaska is your white whale. Okay. Um, let's see. Kezia what is your Mount Everest? What is the thing you want to cook that you haven't made yet?

Kezia:
Um, I would have to say I really want to make macaroons.

Superintendent:
Macaroons. I do love a good macaroon and it seems like it would be very difficult. The cookie has to be so light.

Kezia:
Yes. Yeah. I've heard it's difficult.

Superintendent:
But have you tried it at all?

Kezia:
No, I haven't tried to make it yet. I want to.

Superintendent:
I see Ms. Anderson writing a list of these goals. So perhaps I would like to be invited to that class when those come out. Baked Alaska to Macaroons, I'm all for that. Uh, Jordan,  what is your goal? What would you like to make that you haven't made yet?

Jordan:
Honestly, I'm down to make any pastries.

Superintendent:
So all desserts. Yeah. I did see pictures of each of you in your home kitchen and you're all smiling wide. When you're in your own kitchen, you all seem very happy. Is that kind of a happy place for you Jordan, to be in the kitchen?

Jordan:
Yeah. That's where I feel like I learned how to cook. Good memories.

Superintendent:
What do you have on the stove there in the picture? Do you know?

Jordan:
Right then we were making caramels. So it probably is something to do with carmels.

Superintendent:
Oh, very nice. Homemade caramels, my wife loves that. And Aaron, I saw you had a plate of chocolate chip cookies or a tray of chocolate chip cookies. Is that a specialty?

Aaron:
Uh, yeah, it's actually my great grandma's recipe. It's a really good cookie.

Superintendent:
Oh, wow. And what's the secret ingredient? That's okay. You don't have to. I understand. I understand. I'll just have to try them for myself sometime. And, uh, Kezia, we have a picture of you with a fantastic looking cake. Tell me about that.

Kezia:
Actually, that's my caramel apple cheesecake from my Thanksgiving project. I tried that out before Thanksgiving and it was really good.

Superintendent:
That sounds wonderful. The caramel apple cheesecake, and I love the dessert thing. That's kind of developed through our conversations. I definitely think I'm going to be indulging in something inferior to what you guys make, but whatever I can get my hands on because now I can't get my mind off the dessert side of Thanksgiving. Let's finish by just asking everybody what you're thankful for. Uh, let's start with you, Aaron, what are you thankful for?

Aaron:
Um, just being able to have my family around for Thanksgiving.

Jordan:
I'm really thankful for my family and my friends.

Kezia:
I would have to say my family and that I get to spend in quarantine with them.

Superintendent:
And Ms. Anderson, how about you?

Kyley:
I'm grateful for my family, food, and adventure.

Superintendent:
That's a great combination. Well, I'm thankful to have had the chance to talk with all of you. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I know your families will because they'll get to benefit from your skills.

Thanks for joining us on another episode of the Supercast. Happy Thanksgiving. And remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We will see out there.

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