Jeremiah and the Relay
Hello Relayers! Today we bring you a very very special edition of RecipeRelay – a story that is truly dear to our hearts. We were so touched when we heard this story from Stephanie Tickner, one of our guest Relayers, that we had to share it with all of you. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we have. This is an example of what we at RecipeRelay hope to inspire in people of all ages and places.
Many thanks go to Stephanie Tickner and her son Jeremiah for sharing his story!
By Jeremiah and Stephanie Tickner
About four times a year, the French teacher at the John D. Perkins, Sr. Elementary School in Marlow, New Hampshire assigns projects like informational posters on historic French explorers or scientists, or creative assignments such as menus for fictional restaurants; all designed to help students apply what they have learned in French class. My son, Jeremiah, is in 5th grade in this tiny school of 37 students (K-6). After completing posters earlier this year about the explorations of Samuel de Champlain and the scientific discoveries of Louis Pasteur, Jeremiah came home with an assignment to create a menu for a “creperie” or a crepe restaurant.
Jeremiah has an incredibly vivid imagination. That is a great thing, except when it comes to getting school work finished in a timely manner. His mind has a tendency to wander, so when he has a long term assignment like a French menu due two weeks later, we have to work together in short chunks of time to make sure the work gets done. For this project students had to imagine ten crepes, come up with a name for their restaurant, and use as many French words they could in the process. So, one afternoon we sat down to come up with ideas for five savory crepes and five dessert crepes. With me as his scribe, Jeremiah’s ideas spilled out for crepes filled with cheeses, vegetables, seafood, herbs, spices, fruits and nuts. Later I asked him how he wanted to design his menu he said maybe he could take food pictures like when I did RecipeRelay!
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After he had that idea, what for him had been just another “have to” homework assignment, became exciting and fun. He asked me to buy ingredients for some of his crepes so he could set up food displays for photos, and then he and his dad made our first ever batch of crepes! For dinner that night they made Jeremiah’s very own crepe recipe “A Taste of Italy”, which was kind of like lasagna with tomato sauce, basil, garlic and cheeses. For dessert they made “The Strawberry Shortcake” crepe. They were both delicious! His project turned out to benefit the whole family.
I supported Jeremiah through the more tedious parts of the project – exporting photos from the camera to the computer, translating words to French, typing the text, and laying everything out in Word; Jeremiah saw some of my photos of Orchard Hill Farm in neighboring East Alstead from when I participated in RecipeRelay in February. It was then that he asked if he could pretend his restaurant “The Poseidon Creperie” bought its food from Orchard Hill and other area farms. Jeremiah has a very strong connection to Orchard Hill, having gone to the Orchard School for preschool, kindergarten, summer camps and most recently the after school Farmers and Foragers program. He has helped with planting and harvesting crops, tapping trees, collecting sap and boiling it into maple sugar, building pens and coops for pigs and chickens, and cooking and eating food from the farm. It made perfect sense that he would want his restaurant (named after his favorite Greek god discovered through the Percy Jackson book series) to support local farmers. He even put in the extra effort to write the paragraphs about supporting local food!
I was very excited to tell Brianna and Sarah about how RecipeRelay inspired my son to work hard on a project that normally would have caused only groans and heavy sighs. It is always wonderful to see your children discover something that makes them feel passionate and energized. Creating delicious food that comes from farmers he knows and has worked with has obviously given my son some great inspiration! Jeremiah also learned last week that the teacher gave him an A+ on his menu. He was very proud!