Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet Two of Our Youth Leaders

Rohanna Barry and Shakem Correnthi

Rohanna Barry is about to start her senior year, and Shakem Correnthi, his sophomore, at the High School for Public Service.  Both shared that learning how to actually cook has been a core part of the Summer Youth Leaders Program.  

“Following the directions of a recipe and not over seasoning the food really make a difference in the kitchen,” says Shakem.  “And we are encouraged to experiment a little with our ingredients and avoid undercooking anything,” added Rohanna.  “We have learned several knife cutting techniques like Bear Claws so we never injure ourselves on the cutting board.  

Overall safety is key in the kitchen and obviously you never want to start a fire!” urged both Rohanna and Shakem.

Rohanna has grown to really love kale and points out that it is high in iron.  Shakem loves the lemony taste of sorrel and says it’s also high in iron and fiber.  “Beans, squash, and corn contain essential proteins that our bodies need,” states Shakem.

When asked what the downside of cooking can be: “Sometimes it is really hard to wait for the food to be done,” states Rohanna. “I tend to work independently and find crowds confusing in the kitchen.” “I like knowing how my food has been prepared with no overcooking that can cause vegetables to lose their nutrients,” added Shakem, “but I hate cleaning the dishes afterwards!”

Both Rohanna and Shakem have enjoyed learning new recipes on the Youth Farm.  “Brother Khepera’s Curry Coconut Collard Greens recipe was a huge hit with us,” says Rohanna. “He even used fresh coconut.”  “And we saw him hammer it open!” added Shakem. 

When asked how cooking on the farm compares to cooking at home, both Rohanna and Shakem feel that farm cooking is more nutritious and appreciate that all of the ingredients are organic and actually come from the farm or a health food store.  “We are eating healthy, but not losing flavor,” says Shakem, “and it’s less work to make farm food than homemade dishes.”  “I’ve learned how to manipulate food with acids, not just fire,” says Rohanna, “and we focus more on vegetables here on the farm.”

“I want to help my family fight Diabetes and I plan to bring my new conscientiousness home.”

“I have loved interacting with people at the market and listening to their difference of opinions about what’s for sale that day,” states Rohanna, who plans to study Interior Design in the future.  “I am a quiet person at times, but I am a very good listener.”

Shakem aspires to become a Pediatrician and also loves experiencing Wednesdays at the market.

“I hope to improve my people skills and teach others about good nutrition.”