How to Boil Water: A Lesson in Hospitality

The title of one of this year's most popular X-bins is a bit tongue in cheek.
How to Boil Water pokes fun at the teen who wanders into the kitchen only to appear lost and helpless if food is not freshly made or prepackaged. 

Students in How to Boil Water learned all about Italian cuisine this week. They hand-squeezed tomatoes for homemade marinara, rolled mozzarella meatballs, and created ricotta gnocchi. 

The wayward hungry child is relatable. As parents, we've either been there with our kids or will be there before too long.   How to Boil Water aims to teach not only basic kitchen skills but life skills, and as instructor Stacy Owns explains, it provides a lesson of humble hospitality...

Hospitality is a legacy in my family. My family has been in the restaurant business for almost 100 years. My great grandfather, R.W.G Millner, fed a struggling family during the great depression after the restaurant closed for the night. My parents were quick to host exchange students, friends from out of town, and widowed neighbors in our home for holidays and a meal. I also share the love of hospitality, and How to Boil Water was born.
Almost every parent or faculty member I have talked about teaching this cooking class has shared that they remember taking home economics in high school and still remember the meals they prepared. How to Boil Water is more than just basic cooking skills; it is about hospitality: learning to cook meals to share with family, friends, and strangers. Preparing and sharing meals brings people together, builds community, and creates a sense of belonging. After the pandemic, I can't think of a more critical task than creating community and a sense of belonging in the classroom and our wider community. Our class is already a thriving community in a few short weeks. A few students are trying to figure out how to continue this beyond our short Mod 1 X-bin. Students are sharing with me what they prepared over the weekend. I even have a "guest" student who is a senior and signs out of his ac lab and joins our class periodically. I hope to grow this class in the future to include community service.

Click through the photos for the recipes to make these meals at home.

Check out this mouth-watering menu for the class:
Energy bites
Stovetop popcorn
Pico di gallo
Chicken tacos
Chicken larb bowls
Chicken noodle soup
Snicker cream torte
French toast
Ricotta gnocchi
Chicken parm meatballs
Kung pao noodles
Grilled cheese
Skillet lasagna