“Good morning, children! My name is Mrs. Haney and this is my summer kitchen.”

Last week Melissa and I played dress-up for a couple of groups of young school kids to teach them about where food comes from and how it’s made into different forms of yummy things to eat.

We asked the kids what kinds of apples they knew of. “Green!” “Red!” Yes, there are Granny Smith apples, and Gala apples. We see a few more varieties at the grocery store, but mostly the same ones everywhere. But did you know that there are actually thousands of varieties of apples? Apples shaped like stars. Apples with bright pink flesh. Apples that taste like hazelnuts or pineapple. Apples that are so dark red, they’re basically black.

 But you don’t see those at the grocery store.

I didn’t get into what the disappearance of many varieties of apples signals in the larger context of global agriculture. I wanted to, rather, spark curiosity about different kinds of food and crops. What other tasty treats from the Earth are out there that we have forgotten?



 However, the kids didn’t come just to talk about crop diversity; they came to make apple sauce! 


“You know those little apple sauce cups or pouches you get in your lunch sometimes? We’re going to see just how much work goes into it.”


We wash apples. Peel, slice, and core them. Then we cook them. Then we mill them. Finally we flavour it, with just a little bit of sugar and cinnamon. And then the good part: eating it. 



I think they were having too much fun doing all that work to really appreciate all the WORK that goes into making apple sauce. Hopefully it did get across that those little packets of apple sauce don’t come from the Snack Fairy. Many hands and many resources touch those raw ingredients and raw materials before they find their way into the lunch boxes of these kids. 


I can say with some certainty that the main goal, having fun, was achieved!


Photo credits:

Hadassah Styles and Diane Borsato.