Every time I have the opportunity to work with youth of all ages I am reminded that there is something to learn in every interaction. I appreciate that they offer humble reminders of what it means to keep a good mind in everything I do.
When learning with youth, I often find myself facilitating an introduction to new foods. Sometimes with good results, other times with a sour look on their curious faces. In both circumstances, their honest reactions reveal experiences of exploration and growth to be encouraged. Having the confidence to always encourage and offer something unfamiliar to the youth I am cooking with will eventually be reciprocated by them trying something outside of their food comfort zones.
Now that summer camp season has arrived, I feel fortunate that I get to share my food knowledge and cooking skills with some enthusiastic campers. One activity that I like to explore with kids at camp is make your own pizza from scratch either in an oven or an outdoor gill. Making our own pizza dough and rolling it out together provides a tactile learning experience. It can be especially enriching if the camp has an onsite garden or greenhouse where the children can pick their own fresh ingredients straight from the earth or vine. It’s pleasantly surprising to see what children will put on their pizzas and eat with glee when they have the opportunity to explore the relationship and process of making food from field to table.
The following pizza sauce recipe is my go to no matter who I’m cooking with or for. I prefer the taste of a fresh tomato sauce for my pizza versus a cooked tomato sauce. The bright flavour associated with the short time it spends cooking on the pizza in the oven is truly enjoyable. We are not yet into field tomatoes but you can find local greenhouse tomatoes everywhere.
- Plum Tomato (Roma or San Marzano)
- Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Parsley)
- Garlic (or Garlic Scape)
- Sunflower Oil
- Tomato Paste (Optional)
Add garlic and either puree with a food processor or stick blender or pass through a food mill. Add a some sunflower oil, your herbs and season with salt. I like mine after it sits for some time so the flavours can come together nicely.
How to remove skin from tomatoes. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Lightly score the skin of the tomatoes and place in boiling water. Wait for about 15 seconds or until the skin starts to crack. The skins should come off easily. Place in ice or very cold water. If they need more time place them in the boiling water again. Be sure to not cook the tomatoes, they will become mushy. If your tomatoes have a lot of water in them the sauce can be thickened with tomato paste.
For my pizza/flatbread dough recipe search for “flatbread” at tworowtimes.com