Monday, January 20, 2014

Mexican International Dinner

The Monday prior to the Mexican International Dinner, Sarah Acton, the Spanish teacher at Tapestry Charter's high school, passed away suddenly while in Costa Rica leading a class trip. 

I had connected with Sarah several weeks before and she was excited to come help with the Mexican International Dinner which was originally set for April 13th.

She was going to invite the students that were traveling with her to the dinner event when they returned from Costa Rica. 

I moved the dinner to May 11th to give some breathing room and alter the plans for the dinner. All of the proceeds of the evening's monetary donations went towards the Sarah Acton Scholarship Fund at the Tapestry Charter School.

Thank you to the crew from Lloyd Taco Trucks for their donation to the dinner! 

There were also cricket lollipops, books from West Side Stories, and pretty neat t-shirts as door prizes.

I set up an altar with items I've collected from Mexico.

Jessica Folckemer, Olmsted's Spanish teacher, loaned a large box of really marvelous stuff to help decorate and educate!

The menu for the evening included:
"Grillos" (fried tiny crickets) with "nopalitos" (sweet slivered inner cactus) served in a red sauce (from Lloyd Taco Trucks) then rolled up in tiny corn tortillas with a stone limed corn avocado paste on top. 

Vegetarian slivered sweet potatoes quick pan fried and served drizzled with raw honey. 

Vegan freshly ground corn pudding, sweetened with aloe vera and cactus juice liquor, and steamed in corn husks. Vegan Ix'ni salsa with fresh tortillas chips.

Vegetarian Chaya cream soup. 

Vegan chocolate sorbet and a vegetarian spiced hot corn/chocolate drink, called atole, served with fresh chili powder and vanilla bean paste.

Did you know that crickets, on average, taste vaguely like a cross between a shrimp and an almond, and are highly nutritious: when dried, they rival beef pound-for-pound when it comes to protein, and far exceed it in calcium and iron. They are remarkably sustainable to raise, requiring so many times fewer resources than most livestock that it's like comparing an S.U.V. to a bicycle.

The most surprising part was how much the crickets tasted like toasted almonds! There were no leftovers, and nearly everyone tasted at least one. Some, like my eldest daughter Sam, couldn't get enough of them.
There were three piñatas and so much loot that everyone walked away with full bellies, fists full of candy, and an experience unlike any they had ever encountered.

Over 160 pounds of food was raised and $230 was donated to the scholarship. It was such a fun evening that I will never forget!

Thanks to everyone who donated their time, money, school supplies, and more to making yet another international dinner such a HUGE hit!

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