Entrust a group of second-graders with making lasagna? Well, why not: After all, one has been a Cook for eight years.
That would be Dalton Cook, who attends All Saints Academy in Corning. He and his classmates were hard at work Jan. 31, preparing dishes at the school for the big international dinner that took place there the following evening in celebration of Catholic Schools Week. Each All Saints class had its own ethnic focus, with Dalton’s class obviously going for Italian cuisine.
“We had to spin the (lasagna) dough,” Dalton noted.
Eighth-graders, meanwhile, devoted their cooking skills toward Mexican dishes.
“I mostly just chopped up lettuce and carved a few potatoes,” said Quinton Clark, 14. Though he doesn’t have a whole lot of kitchen experience, Quinton said, “I think I did pretty darn well.”
Jamie Aldrich has cooked spaghetti and baked cookies and cake at home, but was trying her hand for the first time at pierogis.
“You take the dough and roll it out, cut little circles, and put in a spoonful of cheese potatoes and fold it over. Then you put a little decorative thing on the side and bake it, boiling it in oil,” explained Jamie, 11. Her sixth-grade class, as well as the seventh grade, provided Polish food.
Other students’ culinary pursuits included: kindergarten — Asian food, including Chinese fortune cookies; first grade — English and Scottish; third grade — Irish; fourth grade — Native American; and fifth grade — Caribbean, with a giant fruit salad.
Rose Ann Ewanyk, school principal, said teachers and parents pitched in with ethnic recipes for the international dinner. In the end there was enough food to comfortably feed the 200-plus guests.
The colossal meal highlighted a week of Catholic Schools Week events at All Saints that also included Drop Everything and Read Day Jan. 31; bowling for junior-high students Feb. 1; Beach Day Feb. 2; and a closing Mass Feb. 3. Ewanyk said many of the activities were geared toward just plain having fun.
“We’ve just come off doing exams, so it’s almost kind of a reward for all that hard work,” she said.
All Saints, as well as the entire Southern Tier, celebrated Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29-Feb. 4. Other activities, according to Web sites, parish bulletins and other information provided to the Courier, included:
* Immaculate Conception, Ithaca — kick-off spaghetti dinner Jan. 28; student representatives passed out thank-yous at Masses in churches throughout Tompkins County Jan. 29; community-action project for area food pantries and soup kitchens Jan. 31; open house and winter reading festival Jan. 31; teacher appreciation day and basketball game between students and parents/staff Feb. 1; Around the World program for grades pre-K-3 and Quiz Bowl for grades 4-8 Feb. 2; and Student Appreciation Day/Bring a Special Friend to School Day Feb. 3.
* Holy Family, Dansville — student body attended 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Church, Dansville, followed by a school open house Jan. 29; scholastic book fair Feb. 1-3; Beach Party Day Jan. 30; ice-cream sundaes Feb. 1; student bingo Feb. 2; school liturgy followed by popcorn and movie Feb. 3.
* St. Ann’s, Hornell — Open house following the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Ann’s Church Jan. 29; Family Movie Day, Olympic Day, Favorite Color Day, Hat Day and PJ Day during the week as well as a student lock-in for grades 5-8 to close the week Feb. 3.
* St. Patrick’s, Owego — 9 a.m. children’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Church followed by coffee hour Jan. 29; PJ and Slippers Day Jan. 30; potluck supper Feb. 1; bingo Feb. 2; children’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Church and variety show Feb. 3; book fair Monday through Friday.
* St. Mary Our Mother, Horseheads — A theme of “Character, Compassion, Values” including a fundraiser for a local charity Jan. 30; initiative to provide footwear for an adult-care facility Jan. 31; valentines sent to U.S. troops Feb. 1; question-and-answer session about vocations Feb. 2; and First Friday Mass and Blessing of Throats as well as Family Fun Night Feb. 3.
* Holy Family Schools, Elmira — Registration and open house at all three schools Feb. 1; closing Mass for all three schools’ students, staff, family and friends at St. Mary’s Southside Church Feb. 3. Primary school — “Red White and Blue With Your Uniform Day” Feb. 2 to raise money to buy phone cards for U.S. troops; construction of a paper chain to be sent to troops stationed in Iraq, with soldiers then taking links to serve as “countdown calendars” equalling the number of days left in their scheduled deployments. Intermediate school — Invite a Friend days. Junior high school — volunteer at Elmira Free Community Kitchen Feb. 1 as part of an ongoing weekly service project; Spirit Day Feb. 2; student dance Feb. 3.