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Brewer High consumer science class gets new kitchen after 50 years

By Wes Tomlinson

For the Enquirer

Brewer High family consumer science teacher Danita Lindsey has new ingredients such as appliances that she hopes make her classes as effective educating students as homemade rolls are in feeding families.

The Morgan County school system has provided Lindsey with a remodeled kitchen that has new ovens, dishwashers and cabinet fixtures.

She said that’ll help her be more efficient teaching concepts she considers important such as how to prepare food entrees from scratch and how to live on a budget.

Lindsey said the deteriorating condition of the old kitchen was brought to the school board’s attention and they provided funds for a complete remodel that began in February.

“Our cabinets were just so old that they had become a safety issue and a sanitation issue because they were 50 years old,” Lindsey said. “Now this just allows us to have a cleaner and more sanitary environment.”

Lindsey said they had been using the same kitchen that was built with the school in 1972.

The new kitchen is equipped with granite countertops and dishwashers for the first time. It also has five new microwaves and range ovens where students can cook mass quantities of food.

Before the remodel, Lindsey said, some of the cabinets and drawers were missing handles and students had to wash dishes by hand.

The granite was installed by Armando De La Torre Marble and Granite in Hartselle, and cookware came from Owen’s Home Appliances in Somerville.

“It’s really the same concept we had before, it’s just better quality now,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said the remodel happened during school hours and she and her class had to work around the maintenance department as they were installing cabinets and countertops, but “it was well overdue and worth every stressful minute.”

Aug. 18, Lindsey gave her students a scenario in which they had to feed a family of five for less than $10. Students, working in pairs, supplied $5 each for pancakes, eggs and bacon.

“Those three items are under $10,” Lindsey said.

Junior Grace Sanders poured batter on a non-stick griddle, which she said makes cleanup a lot easier and quicker.

“We used muffin mix to make the pancakes and it made it a lot tastier,” Sanders said.

She said pancakes were an easy item to cook but can burn easily if one is not careful.

Sanders works with her family sometimes at their restaurant, MawMaw’s Diner in Lacey’s Spring, and said Lindsey’s class “enhances” her kitchen learning experience.

Sanders has been cooking pancakes and eggs ever since her parents bought her first cookware when she was 10. This is her second year with the class and she said she is looking forward to creating homemade food items like they did last year.

“We learned how to make cake mix cookies, that was the first thing we did,” Sanders said. “Learning things like that helps out a lot in case we want to make stuff at home.”

The end of Lindsey’s class this year will culminate in them learning how to make homemade pasta sauce, and some students will take their ServSafe sanitation certification, which most restaurants require as a basic credential for management positions.