Thursday, November 20, 2014

Haldane Elementary School Raises Funds for Farm to School at Family Spaghetti Dinner

Last Thursday, Haldane Elementary School had their first Annual Family Spaghetti Dinner to raise money for their growing farm to school initiative. "It had been my dream to have a family spaghetti dinner at Haldane ever since I started working here," announced Assistant Principal Julia Sniffen at the dinner last week.

Over the past few months, there had been some discussion about bringing local New York State ground beef from Slope Farm into the school lunch program, but the cost was higher than what food service could include in their budget. So at the September Wellness Committee meeting, Julia Sniffen came up with the idea of combining the spaghetti dinner with a fundraiser for the local beef. Sandy McKelvey, director of Hudson Valley Farm to School loved the idea, and the two of them immediately began planning for the event.

Food Service Director, Lauren Collica soon got on board and began processing and freezing local tomatoes and basil, including those growing in her very own Tomato Sauce Garden the Haldane Garden Committee planted for her over the summer!

"None of us could have guessed this would be so popular! Being our first event, we expected maybe 100 people," stated McKelvey. "But the rsvp's kept on coming, and by the afternoon of the event, we had over 240!"

The Family Spaghetti Dinner was truly a community event. It wouldn't have been possible without all the generous donations and volunteers.

Kory Riesterer, chair of Haldane's Garden Committee created the exquisite dried flower arrangements on the tables.

Slope Farm donated the ground beef for the bolognese sauce.
Glynwood Farm donated the kale and arugula for the salad. 

Fishkill Farms donated the apples for the baked apple dish.
Nature's Pantry donated all the ingredients for the baked apples.
Beacon Bread Company donated the baguettes.
The Haldane PTA donated funds to purchase the pasta.

BOE President, Joe Curto donated four pounds of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Food Service Director, Lauren Collica said, "Last night was such a positive experience in all of my time running a kitchen. The amount of time, effort, and generosity from everyone involved is something that will continue to inspire me to keep fresh, local choices in our cafeteria."

And a big thank you goes out to all the parent, staff, and student volunteers that made this event so fun and memorable.

We can't wait to do it again!

Beacon Bread Company

Monday, November 3, 2014

Broccoli Stir Fry Taste Test at Haldane: Biggest Success Ever!

This past Tuesday, Haldane students experienced their first taste test of the year. It was by far the most popular taste test we have had in the last four years. We had over 350 tasters and over 75% liked the dish. Thank you 8th graders and Home and Careers teacher Megan Murphy for making it such a success!

Here is the recipe: Try it for yourselves!


3 tablesoons vegetable oil
1 cup carrots, diced
1⁄2 “ long piece of ginger, minced
1⁄2 cup onions, diced
1 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water for corn starch slurry 1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of lime juice
1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly
1 cup brown rice

1. Boil rice in 2.5 cups of water until the water is completed absorbed and rice is soft and thoroughly cooked: about 30 minutes.
2. To make the slurry: In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with water until all the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
3. In a sauté pan, heat oil on medium high. Sauté carrots. Cook until slightly tender. Add ginger, cook 30 seconds. Add onions and sweat for 1 minute. Add broccoli and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook to aroma. Set aside in a large bowl.
4. Deglaze the pan with vinegar. Reduce by half, add soy sauce, water and cornstarch slurry, stirring frequently until you see it begin to thicken. Add sugar.

5. Add cooked rice to the sauté pan. The rice will absorb the liquid. Cook the rice until hot. Combine with vegetable mixture.
6. Finish with fresh lime juice and sliced scallions.
Thank you Chef Nick Gonzalez, Chef intern from the Culinary Institute of America for making this recipe with Haldane 3rd and 4th graders!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Measuring for Success at Haldane Elementary School's Garden!

Second graders from Mrs. Scrocca's class honed their measuring skills in the Haldane School Garden last week.

Armed with centimeter rulers and meter sticks, the children measured the garden beds, tomato plants, dried beans, and Haldane's very own banana plant. (That measured 1.8 meters in height!)

This young girl showed off her whopping 90 centimeter bean to the whole class!

Mrs. Scrocca said, "What better way for the students to understand the concepts of centimeters and meters than to measure things in the real world!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October is National Farm to School Month!

Take a look at what Haldane Elementary School is doing for National Farm to School Month:

Click below to see Haldane's calendar of events.

Haldane Farm to School Month

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Now Online: Nearly 50 Kid Tested and Approved Chef in the Classroom Recipes from Haldane, GUFS and Beacon City School Districts

Come take a look at our new recipe page! I posted every recipe we've made since the beginning of Hudson Valley Farm to School's initiative in 2010. They are easy and fun to browse through, alphabetized by fruit or vegetable.

Try one of our delicious chef's recipes today! Go to Recipes page