Whats Cookin?

A new face in the FCS room
Senior Benjamin Wilkins measuring powdered sugar
Senior Benjamin Wilkins measuring powdered sugar
Jayda Goold

What’s that smell? Pull open the door and take a breath in, the smell of sweet pastries and savoury snacks fills the air as you walk into the FACS room. A smiling face greets you and invites you in, but who is she?

Seven years ago Ashley Schneider worked here as a receptionist in the main office but she’s back and made her appearance in the FACS room! Mrs. Schneider had worked at Mankato’s middle school and one of the high schools for two years before finding herself back at New Ulm High School as a teacher.

Schneider teaches all the foods classes in the high school including Basic Foods, Advanced Foods and Pastery and Design. She hopes that with enough interest she can start up an International Foods class that would focus on cooking and tasting foods from other cultures and countries around the world. The foods classes teach an array of information meant for all different experience levels. The Basic Foods class is available to students of all grades while the more advanced classes require the Basic Foods as a prerequisite.

Many students seem excited to try the class thanks to the new teacher. Andrew Fitterer, a senior taking basic foods, said, “She does a really great job at teaching in class and the class itself I’d also say is good,”.

Cleaning, cooking, mixing and kneading. Everyone has a role in basic foods (Jayda Goold )

Schneider’s basic foods class focuses on general knowledge and skills in the kitchen. Students learn proper technique, kitchen etiquette, safety and sanitation. The class has tried their hand at making an array of recipes including, hashbrowns, french fries, cookies, pizza rolls, cream cheese wontons, spaghetti and much more to come. The class is very beginner-friendly yet still considered very enjoyable to more experienced cooks. Students get to work together and enjoy some new flavours and tastes. Students work alongside others of all grades and experience levels.

“Even the kids that said it was easier said they liked it because they’re still making things and doing things that they maybe didn’t know before,” Schneider.

Fruit pizza made in 6-period basic foods class (Ashley Schneider )

After the basic foods class, it begins to heat up a bit. Cooking is very different from baking and Pastry and Design proves that’s true. One of the biggest differences between Basic Foods and Pastry and Design is that in Basic Foods you can be more lenient with measurement but while creating pastries and baked goods you need to be exact. The Pastry and Design is graded primarily on the finished product whereas the basic foods class is graded on the technique, cleanliness, and working together.

In Pastry and Design, students learn more niche techniques specific to baking. Students get the chance to practice and prepare their skills. Students most recently worked on their frosting skills, working on handling piping bags, designs and lettering/fonts. After mastering the skill they made cupcakes for the National Honor Society and got the opportunity to show everyone what they’ve learned.

Senior Benjamin Wilkins said,”She gives us the appropriate resources we need to understand the techniques we are supposed to use.”

Pastry and design class collecting ingredients to make frosting (Jayda Goold )

Even in the new school and the new classes, Schneider continues to grow and learn as well as help her students grow and learn right alongside her.

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