One week ago, my Ecology Bridge class hosted a dinner theater fundraiser at the First Baptist Church in Belfast. We spent many weeks preparing for the meal and the performance.
On November 20th we skinned a deer that Josh Webb (parent to Noah Webb, one of my classmates at the Ecology Bridge program) so generously gave to us. We skinned it in the backyard of Jack Reader who lives in Belfast. Josh brought knives, rope, and the deer of course! He stayed and showed us how to do it. He showed us how to hang the deer from a tree, how not to cut through the skin and how to butcher it. After we butchered it Laurel and I went inside and cooked up the tenderloin so everyone could have a taste. The rest of the deer was frozen and saved until it was time to make it into a delicious venison stew!
On December 17th Rachel Alexandrou (a professional forager and chef) came in and helped us make bouquets to go on the tables at the dinner theater. First we went into the woods and gathered a bunch of acorns, branches, birch bark, leaves etc. We arranged them in jars and cups. Everyone got to make one bouquet.
On December 18th Rachel Alexandrou came back and helped us make the meal we were serving at the dinner theater. We were making stew, coleslaw, roasted potatoes, roasted vegetables, cornbread and apple crisp! The ingredients were donated by local farms: potatoes we gleaned in October from Heald Farm in Troy, vegetables from Villageside Farm in Freedom, cornmeal and wheat flour from Songbird Farm in Unity, and cheese from Swallowtail Farm in Whitefield. First we washed and chopped up all the potatoes. Next we cored and cut up the apples for the apple crisp. After that we started making the stew by chopping and sauteing the onions. The smell was so strong that it made everyone in the kitchen cry! It took a long time to make everything but it was really fun!
Meanwhile, Maya, Noah and Abijah were finishing up on a video of interviews that they were going to show at the dinner theater.
December 19th. DAY OF THE DINNER THEATER! We arrived at 3:00 pm to make sure everything was done before the guests arrived at 5. There was a lot to do! Some of us wrote a play to perform that night and we hadn't perfected it yet so we practiced that a lot.
There was a lot of other stuff to do besides that, like setting the tables, putting the bouquets we made the previous day into vases, warming the food and making whipped cream for the apple crisp (Leza was so happy with Ruby and Jonah who made the whipped cream because she gave them a giant jar of maple syrup and they didn't make it too sweet). When all the guests arrived the show started. First Noah, Bodhi, Maya, Royal, Wayland and Laurel who made the interviews showed a video and talked about what it's like around the holidays for many different people, while the rest of us served the main course to the guests. Next Jack, Ruby, Azure, Abijah, Stella, Jonah and Annalise who wrote the play performed it while the rest of the students served dessert. Together we raised 500 dollars for the Belfast Soup Kitchen!