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Magic in the Kitchen

It is said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Here at SCDC, our kitchen is the heart of our school family. Mr. Brian, our cook for 8 years, works to feed up to 89 kids a day, including breakfast, lunch and two snacks. (We have about 50 children enrolled currently.)

USDA guidelines direct the “what, when and how” of the food we serve. Each breakfast is required to have a fruit (or vegetable), a grain or protein, and milk. Lunch requires a fruit, a vegetable, a grain, a protein and milk. Snack is a choice of 2 of the components above. Fruit juice is not allowed, milk is required for all meals.

Mr. Brian has it all down and runs a rotating 6-week menu plan. Breakfasts include whole wheat cinnamon toast, whole grain cereals, waffles, oatmeal and yogurt. Lunches include teriyaki chicken, tater-tot casserole, bean and cheese burritos, pulled pork, mashed potatoes and chicken gravy, and the magical Bean with Bacon soup. The menus are posted on a bulletin board near the front desk.

Every other week, Mr. Brian makes a Costco run. “I was faxing orders to Costco long before online grocery shopping was cool,” he said. He also shops regularly at URM and Yoke’s and watches the newspaper grocery ads carefully for deals, especially fresh produce. “We go through about 16 gallons of milk a week and I buy large quantities of goldfish crackers, Triscuits and Wheat Thins, along with apples, oranges and bananas.”

A few years ago, a parent called, asking if she could get Mr. Brian’s recipe for the soup he served regularly. “My son loves this soup and asks for it all the time,” she said. Super easy, we told her. It’s simply Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup.

The kids love almost everything Mr. Brian cooks. But their favorite day is Cookie Friday. When the USDA guidelines eliminated all sweet treats from our menus, we decided that Cookie Friday we be Mr. Brian’s special treat day. Every kid knows what day Friday is. Mr. Brian serves the standard snack, along with 2 cookies. Dunking cookies in milk is the best treat.

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