When learning a world language at McDonogh, students don’t just concentrate on pronunciation and conjugation, they also explore the cultures from which the language derives so that they have a holistic and global understanding of the subject.
On September 21, China will celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival. Considering its importance in Chinese culture, FangFang Ma wanted her students to have a taste, quite literally, for what the holiday is all about. With the help of Farmer Hood and Chef Staley, Ma was able to give her fifth grade Chinese classes the opportunity to prepare their own version of Mooncakes—a rich pastry traditionally enjoyed during the festival.
Since Mooncakes are normally made with a thick filling of red bean or lotus seed paste and contain yolks from salted duck eggs, Chef Staley had to finesse the recipe to ensure it would be free of any allergens that would prevent students from partaking in the fun. After carefully following the multistep instructions from Chef Staley, including using an ornate stamp to make their pastries picture-perfect, students couldn’t wait to get a taste of the seasonal sweet. After one bite, they all agreed that Mooncakes are out of this world.