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Let's Talk Turkey

Friday, November 20, 2020

Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Human Services program students at both CTE centers are thankful to be back in the classroom and, at the same time, to be able to help their community this holiday season.

At the Southern Adirondack Education Center (SAEC), students have been honing their skills for the past 2 weeks in preparation for Hometown Thanksgiving. The classes received 40 turkeys (800 lbs), which they cooked-off, brokedown, and picked the bones for as much meat as possible. The meat was then portioned into hotel pans; and the bones were simmered for 2 days to make stock, which was then turned into gravy (40 gallons).

Hungary yet?

The classes’ recent apple picking trip to Hick's Apple Orchard netted them roughly 3,000 lbs of apples. They donated about 1,000 lbs to Community Action in Glens Falls. The students then processed the remaining apples for 20 trays of apple crisp, which was also donated to Hometown Thanksgiving. They packaged everything up to send off to the Methodist church in Glens Falls, where roughly 1,200 people will be served. 

Chef Nick Zwart, a culinary arts instructor said, “this year, we also wanted to help out our Exceptional Learners Division (ELD) here at SAEC by providing them with a Thanksgiving feast. We prepared a complete holiday dinner for them consisting of turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce for 140 staff and students.” In advance of the luncheon, all ELD staff took the “Serve-Safe for COVID” training so that they could safely serve lunch to students.

processing apples

Meanwhile, at the F. Donald Myers Education Center the Hospitality and Human Services class and Culinary class prepared 600 pounds of turkey for Equinox.  That's 30, 20 pound turkeys. Their efforts go towards the Annual Equinox Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner which serves 10,000 of our lonely, homebound, or homeless neighbors. The Capital Region’s largest and longest running holiday tradition remains possible with the tremendous help of community partners like WSWHE BOCES.

And to top it off, on Tuesday, November 24, Culinary Arts and ELD students from the F. Donald Myers Education Center will work with the Saratoga Wilton Kiwanis Club to prepare 100 holiday food baskets for local families in need in what they call “Operation Turkey”. 

The Kiwanis club is providing all the food needed to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving meal for 6 people. Chef Celeste David says, “our program has had a long tradition of supporting the community through this effort. It is particularly relevant since a number of the baskets will be going to families of F. Donald Myers Education students themselves. This year more than ever we are grateful to help the community.”

CTE is happy to support these community service projects as it helps students to understand the importance of giving back to their community.

culinary arts instructors and students present turkeys they roasted for Equinox

Culinary arts instructors and students at the F. Donald Myers Education Center present turkeys they roasted for the Annual Equinox Thanksgiving dinner. 

students processing turkey meat

Students processing turkey meat at SAEC.

practicing pie skills

Practicing pie skills at SAEC.