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Kitchen Notebook: Vegetable and Turkey Stuffed Cabbage

"It's like a Chinese dumpling!" It's like a burrito without the soft taco!" "I can't wait to try this at home!", students at Wissahickon Awbury said.

Ava Stuchko, Stella Chau and Travis Chopyak get the cabbage leaves ready for turkey Golapkis during week 3 of the Fall 2018 My Daughter's Kitchen cooking program at Comly.
Ava Stuchko, Stella Chau and Travis Chopyak get the cabbage leaves ready for turkey Golapkis during week 3 of the Fall 2018 My Daughter's Kitchen cooking program at Comly.Read moreLorrie Craley

This Week’s Contributing Schools:

Kensington Health Sciences Academy

When asked about the turkey vegetable rolls, Dynasty Perez said, "I don't want to change anything in the ingredients, perhaps add tortillas."

"I learned how to saute," said Charlize Bryson, "[The filling] would be great with taco shells."

— Hope Waller

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Prince Hall School

The students grew more confident of their chopping skills this week as they tackled onions for the first time, plus peppers, dill, and cabbage. Everyone pitched in to carefully wrap the slightly torn cabbage leaves around the vegetable and turkey filling. "It looks like a healthy burrito!" Jakyia Bonaparte said about the stuffed cabbage rolls. There was quite a bit of filling left over, so everyone took some home along with the extra cabbage rolls.

— Lisa Ellis

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McClure Elementary

McClure had a busy week this week making our delicious meal. We had a lot of challenges due to the fact that we only have a single induction cooktop in order to make our meal. I had to pre-boil the cabbage at home the night before in order to get the leaves off of the head, I had also had to cook the quinoa so that we were able to keep to our time allotment. Many of us tastes a little bit of our food, before we had decided to pack it up to go home. When I had asked around many of us did not really care for it, but they were all willing to at least try it first.

— Wendy Vandenberg

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Bayard Taylor Elementary

It's often said that life is a journey rather than a destination, and that certainly was the case for our third week of cooking at Bayard Taylor.

First the journey: Our fifth-grade chefs loved making the Polish stuffed cabbage known as Golapki. They were eager to smell, touch and even taste the foods as they prepared them (raw pepper "tastes sweet!" they exclaimed; raw cabbage "feels like rubber!").

And they loved that everyone got a chopping task with so many ingredients to prepare. Gabriel Rodriguez volunteered for the onion because "I don't cry" at the smell and enjoyed modeling the onion glasses. Syliani Ortiz and Aliani Cabrera were all about the peppers, one red and one yellow. Angel Ezell Sanchez liked learning how to crush and mince garlic, and his brother Angel Luis proved efficient chopping celery.

They were excited when the big bowl came out to mix the ingredients, and Gabriel, Ezell and Aliani quickly volunteered to oversee the cooking. "It's evaporating," Ezell noted, as steam from extra juice rose from the pan.

Not surprisingly, the highlight of this class was cutting, preparing and stuffing the cabbage, an exotic vegetable for everyone. They lined up eagerly to drop the leaves into the boiling water and had great fun filling them later. "Perfecto!" declared Gabriel, as they marked their creations with different colored toothpicks to remember which was which.

And the verdict? Everyone liked the stuffing. "I like the tomato sauce and the quinoa," Luis said. "The tomato sauce gives it its flavor," Ezell added. But the cabbage? Our chefs were not fans. Too rubbery, too strong, too weird was the consensus. Gabriel spoke for all when he said "I like the filling much better than the cabbage."

At least they tried it. And there still was a lot of positive to take away.

"I liked the mixing best," Luis noted. "I liked the chopping and rolling," added Ezell. And Gabriel enthused "I liked boiling the cabbage leaves."

Still, the best feedback of all came from Syliani: "We have too much fun in this class!"

— Nancy Smith and Peter Landry

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Chester Eastside

Our chefs tackled the recipe for Golapki with interest and enthusiasm. They found it both challenging and fun to stuff and roll the cabbage leaves. After all of their hard work, when the Golpaki came out of the skillet, the children couldn't wait to taste it. Plates were cleaned in short order, with requests for second helpings. "I love the tomato sauce," said Nalia Diaz. "It smells like pizza and is so good."

— Sallie Anderson

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Hunter Elementary This week was an exceptionally energetic class at Hunter! We had 4 additional students join us, as well as the board from Vetri Community. Most of the students were skeptical of the stuffed cabbage recipe. However, all agreed they would try. As we sautéed the vegetables and meat, the girls exclaimed, "It smells sooo good!" Several girls also mentioned that their favorite thing about class is working together. After tasting the meal, Jannaydeliz commented, "I give it a 10!" There is a lot of team spirit at Hunter!

— Angela Burke and Cindy DePasquale

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Loesche School After a quick introduction to Polish cuisine and Golapki and a review of quinoa, everybody was ready to begin. We were using savoy cabbage so the students got to feel how hard the core was and saw the need to cut it out. The knives and the cutting boards got busy dicing and mincing all of the vegetables, after Madina Azamjon explained to us the differences. Red peppers, celery, onions, garlic and cabbage needed to be finished. Dominic Bonderenko helped Mrs. Munafo slowly put the cabbage leaves into the pot of boiling water to soften and Juan Rivera helped cool them and cut out the hard cores. There were so many vegetables to cook that we decided to cook the turkey in another pan and then put them all together. Now the fun was about to happen. Everybody got a chance to fill their cabbage leaf with the mixture and then roll them up, securing then with two toothpicks. They all fit in the pan with the sauce. While they were cooking, we were able to begin the clean up. Nigina Ubaydullaeva and Fred Moore were taking their own pictures of stirring the cabbages with the sauce. Everyone picked out their toothpicks first, then cut up the golapki to cool. Before we were all finished, Fred was looking at a clean plate and replied, "Not too bad." Juan Rivera exclaimed, "This was de-licious!" Nigina commented that she didn't like the turkey and would prefer to make it with ground beef. Madina and Dominic thought that the cabbage was a little too hard to eat. Mrs. Munafo told them that maybe it was because we used Savoy Cabbage, which seemed harder. Ms. Pupis thought that it was a successful recipe because everyone at it and there was not much left on the plates.

— Jane Pupis & Susan Munafo

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Gesu School

Our cooks at Gesu School this week were our stalwarts: Sanaa Burton and Desiree White. We're all hopeful that the other three students will be available to participate because, as the girls noted, we're all learning and having fun. We read the recipe for Vegetable and Turkey Golapki and there were groans, not only from students but from one of the adults as well. Sanaa shared that her Grandma, whom she says is a wonderful cook, believes that even if you think you don't like vegetables, when you mix them together they taste great. This led to a brief discussion about the benefits of joining and working together. Desiree said the things she likes best about My Daughter's Kitchen are taking turns, waiting on each other, and sharing what we have prepared. Sanaa added that she likes tasting our creations best. Our chopping and mincing techniques improved this week. Quinoa was unfamiliar to the students so they tasted it before adding it; we all agreed that it's fairly bland. We learned the difference between frying and sauteing, and we discovered that ground turkey is healthier than beef, usually lower in fat and calories and just as tasty when mixed with all the other ingredients. Sanaa reminded us that the mixture enhanced each ingredient and we were cooperating and doing the same for each other! We also learned that while boiling the cabbage is necessary, the size of the leaves and the type of cabbage might make a difference in the length of boiling time. The leaves seemed too cooked to hold the filling so we put less inside each leaf. The stuffed cabbage leaves looked beautiful on the plates which the students set out on Mrs Mooney's lace tablecloth. Our meal was delicious and other students stopped by for a taste because it smelled so good. We marveled that there was no need for salt and pepper. We discussed the food groups present in this recipe; there wasn't a dairy product so Desiree wondered if cheese would be a good addition. We all agreed that it would be worth a try.

There was a good amount of filling left over so the students took it home to share with their families. Since it's so good on its own, they planned to serve it with rolls (like sloppy joes) or over rice.

—Volunteers Liz Mooney and Margaret Mary O'Neill —Faculty monitor Annette Pickett

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Philadelphia Montessori

The girls were surprised how different the cooked quinoa looked this week compared to the quinoa baked in the granola. Everybody enjoyed stuffing and rolling up and eating the Turkey Golapki.

—Bonnie Benson, Ellen Quinn

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Wiggins School

With a quick lesson on what "galopki" means and where they're from, student chefs were skillfully preparing the filling. Ms. Lore reviewed chopping techniques while Ms. VanLaar explained the benefit of using ground turkey over beef. All agreed when Joseph Acevedo predicted the galopki would be moist and delicious. And, aside from some chewy cabbage, he was right!

— Susan Lore, Annamiek Van Laar, Edith Bobb

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Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart students Ja'Niyah Kellum, May'neajah Baylor, Rahsaan Jones, Reggie Hernandez, and D.J. McDade arrived ready to get cooking. After reading the recipe together, the students were anxious to get to work. None of them had tasted ground turkey or Savoy cabbage before so they all had a small bite of raw cabbage to see what it tasted like. Rahsaan thought it kind of tasted like lettuce. D.J. was interested in tasting the cooked quinoa to see how it was different than the uncooked quinoa used in the granola. He gave it a two thumbs up. The group enjoyed the wide variety of tasks involved in the making of the cabbage rolls. When it came to tasting the dish, the reviews were lukewarm. The group thought it was watery and did not like the texture of cooked cabbage. Ja'Niyah said, "I only liked the inside (filling). The outside is not that good."

— Susan Harris Lisa Hendrickson

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Comly School

The recipe today was a mini mystery for the mini chefs! The recipe today was a mystery to everyone, except, Travis Chopyak. He knew how to pronounce it and most of the ingredients. They wondered how brown sugar and toothpicks would be needed, but the mystery slowly unfolded. Travis Chopyak deciphered the word, "golapki," since as he put it, he's "a little bit of everything." The chefs discussed that they've had other versions of "little pigeons," such as stuffed grape leaves, lettuce wraps and dim sum. They were excited to try this! Ivan Zheng noticed that, "These cabbage leaves are huge!" Ava Stuchko chimed in, "I think this is going to taste really good!" Stella Chau also commented on the cabbage, "It will taste much better when it's cooked…" Winni Zheng appreciated the aromatic smell coming from the sauteing vegetables. Finally, the dish was ready! The smell was amazing and it was very successful!

— Cindy O'Donnell and Lorrie Craley

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St. Augustine Academy

Our energetic cooks got right down to business today, they continue to impress us with their chopping and dicing skills. Keymoni Thornton was responsible for boiling the Napa cabbage leaves. She remarked that the color of the leaves became more vibrant and deeper green when they hit the boiling water. As we chatted during our meal, the girls said that they would use less sauce next time, preferring a dense filling. Amaia Randall felt there was too much quinoa in the recipe. Peyton Gooden and Brynn Mitchell said the flavors and textures were delicious. Everyone decided that the best part of the recipe was rolling the filling in the cabbage leaves.

— Sheryl Wolff

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Visitation BVM School Preparing this week's recipe proved challenging. Making golapki involved lots of steps and students had to be directed back to the recipe several times. Mis en place or getting all the ingredients prepped and ready-to-go for cooking is one of the most basic skills of cooking, especially for new cooks. Making golapki, following a mis en place approach, called for dicing vegetables, mixing the sauce and lining up other ingredients like the ground turkey in advance of sautéing. Mis en place saves time and prevents costly mistakes.

As was true last class, this week's recipe got mixed reviews. Cabbage was new to all except one student. Three out of five liked the dish while the two remaining students didn't. They packed up their servings to take home. Next class, attention will focus on achieving an organized work process and on being more adventurous in sampling unfamiliar food.

— Maria Brown

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Wissahickon Awbury

This was our first week at Wissahickon Awbury, and our three students were raring to go! They were interested in seeing how Golapkis compared to Saige Frazier's Grandmother's Stuffed Cabbage, and Kendall Jones' Grandmother's Stuffed Peppers. Egypt Scott announced it was her 11th birthday, which made the day even more festive. Volunteers Janie Glatt and Mary Beth Von Trieste showed all the ingredients and explained how the meal would come together. The students decided to read the recipe out loud together, and they eagerly helped each other cut, trim, stir, combine, watch, and time every step of the process. Egypt said one of her favorite parts of the day was everyone working together. Slicing and dicing the vegetables gave each participant a chance to smell the different aromas, and they all thought the meal would be colorful, fragrant, and delicious. When asked why they took this class, Saige Frazier said, "I like to cook because I like to help my Mom." Kendall Jones remarked, "My parents can't cook for me forever, so I want to know how to cook for myself." And Egypt Scott added, "I like to cook because I get to try new things, and it keeps me off my phone." After cooking the vegetables and ground turkey, then adding the quinoa, it was time to create the wrapped bundles. "It's like a Chinese dumpling!" It's like a burrito without the soft taco!" "I can't wait to try this at home!" We sat down to eat, sang Happy Birthday to Egypt, and toasted our first meal together. We had enough filling left over to send each cook home with some. Egypt exclaimed as they were leaving, "I may make this for my sleepover birthday party!"

—Janie Glatt, Mary Beth Von Trieste

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Lewis Elkin School

Our six 4th graders continue to bring consistent enthusiasm and growing confidence in their cooking skills. While they all agreed that they were not fans of last week's tuna pasta, they were excited to tackle Golapki. The boys in the class were on "Team Chop;" the girls took on cooking the quinoa, cabbage and stuffing. Our class loves to try even difficult tasks (even when there are lots of tears while chopping onions), and jumps in to set the table and wash dishes. Everyone tried the Golapki: two "loved it;" two said it was "ok;" and two gave it a big thumbs down. However all agreed that they had fun and agreed with Leah Rodriguez, that they "can't wait for next week to have more fun!"

— Bette Begleiter

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McGraw Elementary

Our girls liked learning to chop, chop and chop some more. Seeing all the ingredients come together in the final turkey rolls was amazing for them. They were surprised how good the cabbage tasted. One quote about the recipe was: "It took a while but it was really good." We also talked about quinoa bring from both Peru and Africa. New foods are being well received. Our group has a very open mind about trying new tastes, new ingredients. They are a delight to work with. Along with my co volunteer Sashai Roberts, we have a good time together.

On to week 4!

— Judi Levine

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Smedley Elementary

Students were hesitant at the beginning to try this dish as it was something unfamiliar to them. Even the introduction to quinoa brought some unsettling faces. Every single one of them was still eager to learn how to cook and help in every way possible. At the end, every single person tried it and loved it! Nyliah even said, "I was wrong to make a face! Quinoa is good!" Although one of our students cut themselves (nothing serious), that did not stop him from helping out in other areas.

— Iliana Alvarez, Sharon Stern

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