Wissahickon Fernhill

Our Fernhill chefs are quite the team. While David Trusty set the table and prepared the fluffy brown rice, his twin, Devon Trusty, and classmates Joy Jackson and Jenna Gonzalez demonstrated that "you need to use the claw while cutting the beef" into "skinny slices." Marques Williford found cutting the peppers "very satisfying" and Skylah Blackwell discovered the green beans were a "snap!" Devon Trusty summed it up: Meals taste "better when you eat it together."

- Peggy Kaplan, Brenda Waber

Urban Promise

This week, we had to make a substitution in the recipe. Our grocery store was out of string beans, so we purchased asparagus and pea pods instead. After washing hands, we made two teams - while the first group got busy washing and cutting vegetables, a second team took on meat and marinade, with McKhai Delts in charge of slicing the steak. Ahz'mirah Polanco abandoned her vegetables to come and watch, giving the steak a few pats. "Nice and squishy," she said. At the table, McKhai declared the stir fry "scrumptious" and "just as good" as the salmon from the week before. While there were no leftovers, more than a few red pepper strips were left on the side of the plates.

- Maureen Dodson, Jane Berkowitz

Prince Hall

We had all six students present for the first time this week, and everyone had jobs to do. Our two most experienced girls learned how to thin-slice steak across the grain, and the new arrival snapped the green beans. The stir fry disappeared quickly, and people noticed both the sweet and tangy flavors in the sauce. Two of the girls didn't much like the red peppers, but the others were happy to gobble up their leftovers.

- Lisa Ellis, Benjamin David

William Loesche

Everyone showed up, excited from the Halloween Parade and ready to cook our beef stir fry. After slicing the beef, we washed our hands as well as the cutting board and knives, stressing the importance of not cross-contaminating anything. Everybody got a chance to stir-fry. It was well worth it. Artem Gritsaev said, "You can tell I like it!" showing off his empty plate. Speaking for everyone, Firdavs Karshiev responded, "I give it 6 stars out of 5."

- Susan Munafo, Jane Pupis

Chester Eastside

Like most of our chefs, Damir Freeman had misgivings about the day's menu, especially the quinoa, which he'd never had before. "I thought it was going to be nasty, but it wasn't! It was pretty good after all," he says. He added, "The most fun I had was cutting the red peppers."

- Sallie Anderson

Gesu School

This week, we only had two cooking students because of Halloween. Javon Mobley and Alphonso Evans enjoyed the meal. They both concluded that it tasted like a sound alternative to Chinese takeout. I wasn't sure they would enjoy the sauce, as they previously expressed distaste for vinegar. However, when mixed with the sweetness of brown sugar and powerful soy sauce, it all worked great. This meal was especially nice because we could complete it in the allotted time.

- Desiree Porter and Dia Becker

Wiggins School

While all agreed the beef stir fry was a very tasty dish, everyone suggested ways to make it even better. Ideas included using chicken, pork, shrimp, or scallops instead of the beef. We even added some leftover zucchini noodles from our school's healthy snack of the day to our recipe. And while some ate their stir fry starting with all the rice or all the beef, Leeyauna Davis insisted every ingredient needed to be on every forkful for the best experience.

- Susan Lore, Edith Bobb