Saturday night activities are a staple of the semester school experience. Each week a different dish crew plans the activity — and they’re not afraid to get creative.
Two weeks ago Dish Crew 4 surprised the rest of us with an Iron Chef competition. They divided everyone up into 6 teams, each of which had a different food to bake into a dessert. Of course, the members of Dish Crew 4 were the judges. Each team would be judged on presentation, taste, and creativity.
My team, the green team, was given zucchini. We had 15 minutes to give lists of all the tools and foods we’d need to the judges in the kitchen. For safety reasons, each team had to designate a runner who was the only person allowed in the kitchen. We were pretty scattered at first on what to make. Some popular ideas were chocolate cake with zucchini trim, angel food cake with zucchini mixed into it, and zucchini cupcakes. In the end we decided on zucchini cupcakes because they took the least amount of time in the oven.
So we took a chocolate cupcake recipe and simply added shredded zucchini into the batter before baking. We also made a cream cheese frosting to top it off. While the cupcakes were in the oven, we spent a lot of time deciding on presentation. We found a silver platter in the kitchen and decorated the edge with strands of zucchini. Then we cut out a small zucchini heart to place in the center of the platter, around which the cupcakes would be spread. Around the platter, each judge had their own small plate where we would put a cupcake for each of them. Next to each of the judge’s plates we placed a glass full of the judge’s favorite drink. We also dipped the glasses in the chocolate batter so they would have a sweet, chocolate trim.
Throughout the process we had to be mindful of one judge who was vegan. In the end, we decided to go ahead and make the dessert with milk and butter, but for our vegan friend we made some cinnamon toast with zucchini trim around the edge. We also made sure there was no chocolate frosting on her glass.
All I really remember from the night was how ridiculous it was. Everyone was running around screaming and laughing, trying to “spy” on other teams. I also remember being very full of chocolate by the end of the night; there was a bowl of chocolate chips being passed around from table to table. By the end, everyone’s hair was a mess and, if you weren’t covered
in flour, you hadn’t done it right.
In the end, the yellow team — whose special ingredient was taco shells — won the blood, sweat, and tears award. The red team — whose special ingredient was carrots — won the creativity award. The orange team — plantains — won taste. We won presentation, and the blue team — who used pumpkin — won overall. The night was a huge success, filled with laughter, occasional screaming, and lots of memories.
Kailina Mills, South Portland ME