Pharos-Tribune

Local News

March 24, 2013

Fiesta of Food

Lewis Cass Spanish students cook up a storm to kick off spring break

WALTON — “Necesito la sal,” muttered one Lewis Cass student. His teacher, Melanie Karmel, handed him a container of salt and supervised how he added it and other ingredients to a food processor. Eventually he’d end up with allioli, a garlic-based Spanish spread.

“It’s going to look like mayonnaise,” Karmel explained.

Karmel’s third-, fourth- and fifth-year Spanish classes converged on the family and consumer sciences kitchen at Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School Friday to kick off spring break with a jumbo-sized fiesta of Spanish food.

Students cut up fresh tomatoes and garlic, sauteed chicken and slowly cooked a potato-and-egg dish called tortilla española that looked more like an omelet than it did the corn or wheat tortillas sold in local grocery stores.

As one passing math teacher commented, poking his head into the room — “I thought I smelled something.” He took Karmel up on her offer of a bite to taste.

Karmel, who herself is descended from immigrants from Spain who crossed the Atlantic in the 1930s and ‘40s, hopped from one cooking station to the next, helping students prepare appetizers — or “tapas” — as well as paella, a chicken, pork and rice dish based on her family’s recipe, and churros, a dessert pastry.

“This is our first experience with this,” said Katie Lane, a Walton 15-year-old who helped prepare the churros, deep-frying medium-sized balls of dough before rolling them in cinnamon and sugar. “I think we’re doing pretty well.”

“We’re missing math for this,” commented her friend Clair Crum, 17. “This is great.”

Karmel said she wanted to give her students a fun send-off to spring break while keeping with the Spain-themed study she’d begun.

She incorporated the cooking vocabulary and command verbs she’d been teaching most recently. The party felt like home to her — she grew up surrounded by Spanish food, thanks to her mother, Linda Peda, a Valparaiso teacher who visited Lewis Cass to help with the food fiesta.

“We got to this chapter — it was Spain and it was like, ‘yay! I’m home!’” said Karmel.

Peda’s parents immigrated from Spain to the U.S. and spoke only Spanish at home, where Peda picked up the Castilian accent as well as her family’s recipes for traditional Spanish dishes.

Peda grew up to become a Spanish teacher, which she’s done for the last 30 years. She also taught Karmel to make several of the family recipes, like paella.

“We don’t cook with recipes,” explained Karmel. Family dishes are more like heirlooms, passed down from one cook to another.

Paella “is as varied as the areas of Spain are,” Peda said. The most famous version, which includes seafood, is from Valencia, she explained, while her family’s includes chicken and pork.

Peda, who married a descendant of Polish immigrants, said she and her husband did their best to instill a love of both cultural heritages in their children, celebrating sometimes in the Spanish style and holding Polish Christmas celebrations.

“We used to get our own little virgin sangría for special occasions,” recalled Karmel.

Her students mixed their own “virgin sangría” for the spring break party, too, using grape juice and cut-up fruits.

As the sounds of sizzling chicken and a whirring food processor died down, Karmel, Peda and the students scurried from countertop to table, setting out the dishes for an oversized lunch — one hour before spring break arrived.

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT071414 whitehouse1.jpg Lights out in the Whitehouse After 73 years as “Whitehouse No. 1” on Sixth Street, the local breakfast and lunch diner is shutting its doors after Aug. 1.Owner Karen Grisamore stepped outside the restaurant Friday morning after six hours at the breakfast grill, where she’d been

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS-PT071414 Color Run5.jpg Cass 4-H Fair closes on a healthy note While it isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind at an event filled with stands offering deep-fried foods and sugary drinks, staying healthy was the theme at the Cass County 4-H Fair Friday.The first-ever Healthy Day at the Fair started out i

    July 14, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWs-PT071314 fair auction2.jpg Giving back at the auction Patrisha Hartley showed her 263-pound hog at Saturday’s 4-H Livestock Auction. Instead of collecting all the profit for the sale, she gave a portion to a newly created fund in Lauren Bashore’s name.Lauren, 17, died Friday morning in a crash on Logans

    July 13, 2014 3 Photos

  • Citizens press need for pool Those who provided feedback at the Logansport Parks and Recreation Board’s latest meeting agree the city needs a pool.But with the one in Tower Park on its last leg and a parks and recreation department without the funds to repair or replace it, they

    July 13, 2014

  • 7-year 4-Her reaches longtime goal Trenton Howard’s one goal this year was to win the final competition at the Cass County 4-H Fair: The Premier Showmanship contest. He achieved that goal Friday night.In his seventh year showing goats at the fair, Trenton had one Premier Showmanship c

    July 13, 2014

  • NWS-PT070814 Horse show1jpg.jpg A taste of England: Horse, pony competitions wrap up The Cass County 4-H Fair typically gives its visitors the picture of rural America. Kids in cowboy boots populate barns full of livestock, queen contestants pair sundresses and tiaras with sawdust and sneakers, and high school marching bands sell lem

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT071314 2Car Accident1.jpg Texting possibly factored into fatal Friday crash A Friday morning crash sent the Logansport area into mourning after the death of a young driver involved in the collision. A 17-year-old Lewis Cass High School student, Lauren N. Bashore, Peru, lost her life in a crash on Logansport Road east of Loga

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police Blotter: July 12, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 12, 2014

  • NWS-PT071114 Swine Show.jpg A pig deal: 4-Hers show swine at fair Walking from one end of the Cass County Fairgrounds to the other became a practice in flexibility on Thursday afternoon as equipment went up to facilitate the 4-H Swine Show.A pair of parallel fences ran from the front of the swine barn to the side e

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT071114 Ambulance.jpg Car dealership donates ambulance to LFD The Logansport Fire Department’s long-sought initiative to supplement ambulance services to the city recently met with unexpected success through a donation from a local car dealership.The fire department received the 1987 van-style ambulance from Ca

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Argentina Fans Sad but Proud in Loss Germany Wins the World Cup 1-0 Raw: Violence Mars Argentina's WC Celebration Jails Struggle With Role As Makeshift Asylums NYC Artist Creates Wearable Armor Sculpture Raw: Thousands Celebrate World Cup Win in Berlin Bull Run Comes to Middle America Malala Meets 'Bring Back Our Girls' Activists Space Station Shipment Launched From Virginia Israel Deploys Ground Troops to Gaza Strip World-renowned Conductor Lorin Maazel Dies Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert' LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Did you make it out to the Cass County 4-H Fair?

Yes
No
     View Results
eEdition