The Splendid Table Family
I love the end of the year because it presents multiple opportunities for everyone to come together and these gatherings usually include food. I am always excited to share the fruits of my yearly baking extravaganza and to laugh, sing, celebrate, and be joyful as I prepare meals with friends and family.
At Eagle’s Nest, sharing meals and understanding where our food comes from is an integral part of creating community. After parents leave on Opening Day, the first things campers and staff do is meet their table families. Table families are a group of six campers and two staff members who sit together at every meal throughout the session. All of our meals are family style. Once everyone is served, you can hear the clinking of glasses as each table toasts the start of the meal. They bond through the shared experience of a hearty, healthy meal where campers are encouraged to try new foods, discuss their successes and challenges, and share interesting dreams with the group. Many campers agree that their table family is the closest community they have at Eagle’s Nest.
Campers also contribute to both meal preparation and clean up at Eagle’s Nest. Throughout the session, each camper will have the opportunity to help our baker make bread for the entire community, bring compost down to the garden, harvest vegetables with our garden manager, and clean up after meals.
As Winter Break draws near, I want to encourage you to spend some time with your camper in the kitchen. Invite your camper to help you chop vegetables as you cook dinner or to lend a hand as you roll out that holiday cookie dough. Cooking with your child teaches general awareness in the kitchen, and how to safely operate knives, stoves, and ovens. This is a great time to talk about the importance of healthy, balanced diets and to share stories of family recipes and traditions from your childhood.
Below, I have included two recipes from the Eagle’s Nest Cookbook for you to try with your camper. The first is an Eagle’s Nest Camp closing night dish, Spanakopita, a Greek spinach and cheese filled pastry. This is a favorite among campers and staff! The second, a granola bar recipe, you can make with your camper and wrap up for their lunch boxes in the New Year to share with their peers at school.
By Sara Gerall