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home : current news : current news November 19, 2018

3/13/2018 6:44:00 PM
Chinese class gets cooking in Sisters
Sisters Elementary School students went to the high school to create a Chinese meal. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Sisters Elementary School students went to the high school to create a Chinese meal. photo provided

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

Last week Diana Liu, Sisters Elementary School's Chinese teacher, took her fourth-grade Chinese classes on a field trip to Sisters High School (SHS) where she instructed the students on how to cook a favorite recipe from her childhood.

Liu grew up in Central China, in the province of Shaanxi.

Shaanxi is a northwestern Chinese province whose ancient capital, Xi'an, was a starting point for the Silk Road. Xi'an is the home to the mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, an archaeological site containing thousands of clay soldiers called the Terracotta Army.

Liu's recipe originated from Shaanxi, where the locals grew an abundance of potatoes.

"The dish my family made is called Yangyu caca in Chinese and in English I translated it to Steamed Potato Shreds with homemade tomato sauce," Liu told The Nugget.

"The land where I grew up is mountainous and very dry, and we had cold winters. So, we'd grow potatoes in the summer and store them for winter," she said.

Last year, Liu conceived the idea for a Chinese cooking class and used the lobby of the elementary school.

"But the lobby didn't have the conveniences that we really needed," Liu said.

Liu knew that the culinary classroom at SHS would have all the basic amenities, so she asked David Perkins, SHS Chinese teacher, for advice.

"All I did was to arrange with TR McCrystal, the culinary arts teacher, to let us borrow his classroom at the high school," Perkins said. "Diana took the initiative and organized the field trip which spanned three days in order for all her Chinese students to take part."

The culinary classroom is equipped with stoves, several sinks and loads of utensils for cooking.

The students experienced a real taste of another culture.

The first thing the fourth-grade class did was to peel a whole lot of potatoes and grate them into a big bowl and mix them with wheat flour.

"My job was to cut up the tomatoes," said 10-year-old Abbey Craig. "I really liked the Chinese food we made. And it reminded me of mashed potatoes with tomato sauce."

Another student, Hailey Weston, added, "My job was to peel the garlic."

Liu noted that the students did a very good job cutting, peeling, grating and cleaning up.

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