Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills
- chop :
to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.
- grate :
to reduce food, like a carrot, to very small shreds or pieces of the same size by rubbing it on a tool with an outside surface that has holes with cutting edges (a grater).
- knife skills :
- squeeze :
to firmly press or twist a food with fingers, hands, or a device to remove its liquid, like shredded potatoes, frozen and thawed spinach, or tofu.
- Medium bowl
- Cutting board + kid-safe knife
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- Citrus juicer (optional)
- 1/4 to 1/2 head red or green cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 2 radishes
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 large pinches salt
- 2 large pinches sugar
- 1 lime
chop + grate + slice
Finely chop 1/4 to 1/2 head of cabbage, grate 1 carrot, and slice 2 radishes. Combine in a bowl.
measure + squeeze + toss
Measure and combine 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil, 2 large pinches of salt, and 2 large pinches of sugar. Pour over the slaw vegetables. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the slaw and toss well. Set to the side to marinate while you make the tacos. Taste before serving and add any needed salt, sugar, or lime juice!
Hi! I'm Cabbage!
"I come in a few different colors and shapes, but I'm usually green or red (which is really purple-red) with tightly packed leaves forming a round head. You may be most familiar with me shredded in coleslaw and cooked for a St. Patrick's Day dinner with corned beef."
- Cabbage was likely domesticated before 1000 BCE in Europe, and the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it in their cuisines. Cabbage was introduced to Asia and the Americas sometime between the 1500s and the 1700s and was considered a staple food in Europe by the 18th century.
- China produces the most cabbage worldwide, but Russia consumes the most per person.
- The word "cabbage" is late Middle English from the Old French (Picard dialect) "caboche" ("head"), a variant of Old French "caboce."
- Cabbage has many relatives (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collard greens). All of these vegetables are part of a family called "Brassica."
- The cabbage head grows in the center of a cabbage plant. Initially, the plant produces large, broad leaves, but eventually, the inner leaves begin to curl around a short, thick stem at the center. These inner leaves form the head of cabbage we see in markets.
- Green cabbage is the most common type. It has thick green leaves that are packed close together in the head. One head can weigh from one pound to nine pounds! You can cook it as a standalone veggie, add raw cabbage to coleslaw, use it to make cabbage rolls, or add it to soups and stews.
- There are a few varieties of green cabbage, including the pointed cabbage, which is shaped like a cone! Savoy cabbage is a smaller, milder variety with tender, wrinkly leaves that you can use to make cabbage rolls or add to salads and stir-fries.
- Red cabbage is popular in coleslaw and salads because of its color and crunchy texture. You can also pickle red cabbage to serve as a condiment to top burgers or tacos, or serve it as a side, especially with German dishes.
- White cabbage comes from the Netherlands and is also called Dutch cabbage. It is a type of green cabbage with very pale green to white leaves, although there is also a red variety. The Dutch variety is good for making sauerkraut, although you can also use it in the same way as green and red cabbage.
- Napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage, is oblong with light green and yellow leaves and has a long, thick, and crunchy stem. It has a mild flavor and is popular in Asian cuisine in soups, spring rolls, stir-fries, and as wraps for pork and seafood.
- Cabbage is high in fiber and vitamins C and K. Vitamin K is good for the blood. A cup of raw cabbage has more vitamin C than an orange!
- Different varieties of cabbages have varying nutritional strengths. For example, red cabbage has more vitamins C and B6 and antioxidants called anthocyanins that help keep your heart healthy, while the green savoy has more vitamins A and B9 (folate).
- Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are rich sources of phytochemicals, naturally-occurring plant chemicals that may protect people against some forms of cancer.
Let's Learn About Mexico!
- Officially, Mexico's name is "The United Mexican States." It is one of several countries and territories in North America, including Canada and the United States of America.
- Spanish is Mexico's national language, and Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Mexican people didn't always speak Spanish, though. For thousands of years, Native Americans lived there and built great cities. The people had advanced language, education, and calendar systems, and they had very clever ways of raising food. Mexico is also the country with the largest number of native American speakers in North America.
- The capital of Mexico is Mexico City. Mexican legend says that Aztec leaders were told to build their great city of Tenochtitlan at the site where they saw an eagle sitting on a nopal cactus with a snake in its beak. That image is in the center of Mexico's flag. The Aztecs built their city on an island in the middle of a lake. The ruins of Tenochtitlan are at the center of Mexico City and still sit on top of a lake! As water is pumped out to serve the needs of the city's growing population, the city has been sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches per year.
- Indigenous Mexican people included the Aztecs in the central interior of the country, the Mayans of the Yucatan peninsula, and the Zapotec of the south. Spanish explorers landed in Mexico in the early 1500s, and they ruled Mexico for over 300 years. During this time of colonization, Mexico's Mesoamerican civilizations mixed with European culture.
- Before the arrival of Spaniards, native Mexican food primarily consisted of corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and herbs. Indigenous people occasionally hunted and added wild turkey, rabbit, deer, and quail to their largely vegetarian diets. Native royalty sipped chocolate drinks. Europeans introduced cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, sugarcane, and wheat to Mexico upon their arrival.
- Mexican cuisine uses chili peppers to give it its distinct flavor. Jalapeños, poblanos, and serrano peppers are commonly used in Mexican dishes. Dishes that include mole, a sauce made of dark chocolate, chili peppers, cinnamon, and other spices, may be served on special occasions, such as Día de los Muertos.
What is it like to be a kid in Mexico?
- Mexican children may live near the ocean or the gulf, in the desert, or in the mountains.
- Kids often live with extended family, including grandparents. Their full names include their father's and their mother's.
- Most kids speak Spanish, but Mexico also recognizes 68 native languages.
- They attend school from September through June. Large schools have two shifts—one group in the morning and one in the afternoon. Students are usually required to wear uniforms.
- They may play soccer, baseball, and other sports. Jumping rope and other outdoor games are very popular. They might play a game similar to bingo called Lotería. It is played with picture cards and songs.
- Corn tortillas are a staple for kids, along with beans and rice. Dishes that include mole, a sauce often made of dark chocolate, chili peppers, cinnamon, and other spices, may be served on special occasions.
- A popular family holiday is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration to remember and honor a family's ancestors. Family members decorate the graves of their relatives who have passed on. Typical foods served for this holiday include empanadas, tamales, pan de muertos (a sweet bread in which a ring with a tiny plastic skeleton is hidden), and calaveras de azucar (sugar candy skulls).