We've had a lot of fun making fudge and growing our business, but we never want to lose site of giving back. I've been in Rotary since 1984 and our motto is "Service Above Self." Here at Culinary Apple we strive to live up to that motto, as well. A few years ago, we learned of a program at our local elementary school called TARGET Afters Community Link Project. TARGET After's is an after school program that provides students with hands-on assistance in reading or math. We got involved with the program as a Community Link member, and one of the TARGET Afters classes "adopted" us as their Link. So, what does all this mean? Well, the class learns about their Link's role in the community; they get to visit their Link, and then do a reading and math activity in their class that relates to the work of their Link. Ultimately, this project gives students the opportunity to apply real world connections to work they do in Afters. They build relationships with their community, and foster an awareness of how they can be a productive community member.
So, how does Papa Dave's Fudge play into all this? Simple! Reading and math skills are imperative when making fudge! It starts with reading the recipe, then applying math to make and cut the fudge. We started by scheduling two groups of 4th graders to visit our store. We gave them a short tour, then headed for the kitchen. We like to engage the kids right away, so we asked if any of them knew what Fudge is. About half of them had an idea that it was some kind of chocolate. They were so surprised when we gave them a taste of Rootbeer Float Fudge, or Creamsicle! Next, we showed them the recipe for a half batch, which makes 18 pounds of fudge. We talked about the importance of fractions, weights and measurements. For example, to make a half batch, we would need 1 pound of butter, 48 ounces of cream, 3 pounds of chocolate and 10 pounds of sugar. Their eyes always get big, and we know we have their attention when we show them what 10 pounds of sugar looks like!
Then we leave the kitchen, and head to the front counter where we cut and weigh the fudge. We let the kids know that you must take and pass a test given by our state's health department before you can make, cut or serve fudge--more reading! It's always a fun afternoon sharing with the kids, and watching them grow and learn. We're excited to be a Community Link for the TARGET After's class, and hope to keep strengthening that relationship.