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Cookin’ Time

cooking day 4

Teaching out in the countryside certainly has its benefits. It allows me to introduce so many things that my students have never seen or tried before, and it’s always so fun to see my student’s reactions to new things and how it impacts them. Over the last four years, I’ve had very many opportunities to teach and share what I know regarding art, construction, acting, traveling, sports, photography, writing, Spanish, and of course, cooking.

During the last year and a half (3 semesters) I’ve co-taught a Spanish class with the librarian at my school, who can also speak Spanish fairly well, and at the end of each semester I’ve organized a cooking day for the students with which students learn how to cook a Spanish or Mexican dish. My students have learned how to make ‘Tortilla Español’ (Spanish Omelet – Paul’s style), Spicy Chicken Quesadillas, and this semester my students and I made ‘Flautas de pollo’ (Chicken Flautas). At first, my students exclaimed, “What’s a ‘플루트‘ (flauta)?!? However, by the time they took their first bite, they were supremely elated on how well they looked and tasted without regard to the name of what they were eating. Many had taken notes and photos on how to make them, and ultimately had a great time. I hope they share what they’ve learned with their family and friends, and I’m sure they will.


Ingredients: Flour tortillas, garlic, onion, red/green/yellow bell pepper, lemon, mozzarella or monterey jack cheese, chicken filets, taco spice/Mexican spices, hot salsa, lettuce, extra virgin olive oil

Chopping crew

Chopping crew

Chopping crew

Chopping crew

Cheese man

The Cheese Machine

Flautas de pollo (Paul's style)

Flautas de pollo (Paul’s style)

After boiling the chicken in water and olive oil, and also heating up all the tortillas, I employed the librarian and students to pull chicken as well as to chop the onion, garlic, and bell peppers. The chopped onions, garlic, and bell peppers were then cooked in extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes to soften them and also open up their heavenly flavors.

cooking day 6cooking day 5

Once cooked, these cooked vegetables were added into a bowl with shredded cheese and pulled chicken. Amid mixing them all together, a generous portion of Mexican taco spice was also added. 1405509379782Next step, I had students take a their tortillas and roll a scoop of the spiced vegetable/cheese/chicken blend inside and then stick in a toothpick to hold it all together. Most of my students rolled theirs like a pro.

Rolling flautas

Rolling flautas

After flautas were rolled, they were then fried in extra virgin olive oil and place on a napkin for a minute of two. They were then laid on a bed of lettuce and topped with hot salsa, shredded cheese, and a squeeze of lemon.

Student's flautas

Student’s flautas

My students were all extremely joyful, as well as the librarian, who was very surprised on how good they tasted. We also made some for our principal, vice-principal, and several other teachers, and they gobbled them up in no time and are all looking forward to the next cooking day.

It has certainly been a blessing working at Wolgot Elementary School in the far countryside. I couldn’t have asked for a better school. I’ve been simply given the freedom to enlighten students in a variety of ways, and it’s times like these that I really enjoy teaching.

Now, the question is: What shall we cook next semester?

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“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.”

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