What's up with that meniscus
in liquid measuring?

This is why you use a liquid measuring cup and why it has extra room at the top.

The meniscus (plural: menisci, from the Greek for "crescent") is the curve in the upper surface of a liquid close to the surface of the container or another object. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meniscus)

The meniscus is also why you lean down and measure from the middle of that liquid - not the edge.

Boss pour courtesy of my after school
little buddies - JT and FH.

Oh, man! All the salsa verde is gone

Each week the students in Ms. Hadley's class have some sort of "taste experience." We experiment with new ingredients, flavors or techiques. This week's taste for ProStart 1 was Salsa Verde.

Students researched tomatillos and then we roasted them with garlic, added onions and salt and blended it for Salsa Verde.

It was very popular and students scraped the bowl to get the last bits to put on chips.

Here two students are showing their sad faces because all the salsa is gone.

A peanut is not really a nut ...

It's a bean. Boil some and you'll see. They smell like pintos.

Ms. Hadley's Foods 1 students were doubtful on the peanut is not a nut fact. So she boiled some so they could smell and taste their beany nature.

Line Cook at Tupelo Honey Cafe

Here is a video of a line cook at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, N.C. Yes, he was showing off a bit - but he also is very, very good.

When he is out of sight, he's grabbing something from a cooler below the stove.

Here is a job description for a line cook.

Expediter at work at Tupelo Honey Cafe

Here is a video of an expeditor at work at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, N.C. Expeditors call out orders to the kitchen and check the plates and tickets to make sure the orders are correct.

Check out this link for a job description for expeditors.

Somewhere over Clarks Chapel

The weather has been wacky lately. Here is a rainbow that followed the strong winds that knocked out electrical service to WCHS on Feb. 24.

Real winter comes to West Caldwell

This photo was captured as Ms. Hadley left school on the first day of the second semester. The dusting of snow we got on Wednesday was just a preview of the blizzard to come. Wednesday's snow froze as ice crystals onto the window of the truck.

Lunch at the LongHorn!

This semester's ProStart 1 students had the opportunity for an Industry  Site Tour at the LongHorn Steakhouse in Hickory.

LongHorn and Darden are strong supporters of the ProStart program and the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Students toured the front-

 and back-of-the-house and then had lunch.

Hickory's LongHorn is the sixth busiest outlet in the steakhouse franchise. It serves more than 200 per day on average at lunch and 300 per day for dinner.

Students also learned about professional organizations and their partnerships with education as LongHorn made a donation to the North Carolina 

Our community is GREAT!

So, Ms. Hadley met a nice lady at a football game who offered to donate fabric to the school. She said it was a lot of fabric - bring a truck.

So Ms. Hadley took a truck.

Holy woven material Batman! She wasn't joking.

Our Apparel students will be sewing their hearts out thanks to the generosity of a local community member.

It's Tie Dye Day!

Apparel and Textile Development students look foward to tie dye day each semester. It is one of the most frequently asked about topics on the first day of school.

We are going to tie dye, right?

When are we going to tie dye?

Well, this semester we have done our tie dye.

Click here for a slide show of the photos.

Why are the documents pages password protected now?

NCDPI has requested that teachers password protect pages with curriculum materials on them.

The passwords have been designed to be easy for students to remember - but if you forget, then email Ms. Hadley to request the information.

Teachers from other districts who have been using these pages are welcome to email Ms. Hadley to request the passwords as well.

Our community is GREAT!

So, Ms. Hadley met a nice lady at a football game who offered to donate fabric to the school. She said it was a lot of fabric - bring a truck.

So Ms. Hadley took a truck.

Holy woven material Batman! She wasn't joking.

Our Apparel students will be sewing their hearts out thanks to the generosity of a local community member.

To our local communities - Thank you for supporting your high school!

Keep calm Warriors.

And keep on sewing.


to avoid a dangerous situation.

Being careful, not taking unnecessary risks and knowing the basics of kitchen rules and protocols will keep you and everyone else safe in the kitchen.

One common danger in the kitchen is for small children to reach up and grab a pot handle that sticks out from the edge of the stove. They can tip the hot contents of that pot right onto their heads.

Keep small children from reaching up to grab or try to hang from pan handles by turning the handles inside the top of the stove.

The little guy in the photo above was part of a "moving notes" activity that Foods 1 did during our study of kitchen accidents. The point of this visual aid is that small children don't understand the danger of hot stoves and pots of hot liquid and might very well grab a handle just to see what it is.

(Disclaimer: No cutout paper toddlers were harmed during the making or carrying out of this activity.)

National Technical Honor Society

West Caldwell High School's chapter of the National Technical Honor Society held a Spring Induction this year.

Students are invited to join the NTHS if they take at least four courses in CTE and complete with a second level course in a single subject. They must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all CTE courses to be considered for an invitation.

Students who excel in CTE can show off their work at graduation with an honors tassel for their cap and an honors sash.

Guess what Ms. Hadley did on the Snow Day/workday?

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked.

This Cinnamon Roll Cake, aka Monkey Bread, came together in between grading papers, putting those grades on PowerSchool, and generally tidying the room.

We can all do things that are hard.

So I'm not the artistic type. I marvel at the student work that comes out of Mr. Abee's classroom. Today (Feb. 3), I had to teach sketching in Apparel 2. I've not done sketching. All my graphic design work was in newspaper publishing (13-inches wide and 21-inches tall).

My students were attempting something new and very different - something I'd not done before either. So I did it right with them. It wasn't as bad as I had feared. I successfully drew the 9-head figure type for fashion design - and put clothes on it. I'm not ready for prime time, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did something new and hard. I'm proud of that.

So we can all keep going, even if something is hard. Find an expert; follow the directions, and keep trying.

You might surprise yourself.

My Apparel 1 did something hard and new today, as well. They painted color wheels and made every color using only red, blue and yellow.

Click here for a slide show of their work.

Welcome to Spring Semester 2015

Here's a blast from the past from ProStart.

We're looking forward to a lot of cooking and learning in class this semester.

Chocolate Christmas Creatures

A.H. devised a new chocolate confection during our annual chocolate dipping lab before the Christmas break.

We've christined these Chocolate Christmas Creatures.

We also dipped pretzels,
butter cookies and marshmallows (without faces).

Apparel is working on hand-sewing

This valuable skill will allow students to make repairs to garments and household items and may give them an enjoyable and satisfying life-long hobby.

It also lets us have a sewing lab before we are ready to get on the sewing machines.

Click the link here to see a slide show of what Apparel and Textile Development 1 students have been up to so far this semester.

Sewing and painting for color theory are included.

Eat well with summer's bounty

New post on my blog - using those summer vegetables.

The Down Home Kitchen 

Have a safe and happy summer!

I'm going to be cooking and relaxing - and planning lots of work for the next school year (of course). Look below the photo for a quick, easy summer recipe.

Cheater's Lemonade

2 or 3 lemons, juiced

1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar (adjust depending on taste)

1 1/2 cups bottled lemon juice (adjust amount to taste)

water, to bring level to one gallon

In a one-gallon pitcher, add sugar. Run some hot water (or pour boiling water) over the sugar. Stir vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juices (fresh and bottled) and water to bring the level in the pitcher to about 3/4 of a gallon. Stir and taste.

Add sugar or lemon juice as desired.

Top pitcher with ice to bring it to a the level of one gallon and chill it down.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Welcome back to the

2014-15 School Year!

Let's get started working and learning.

Welcome Back!

The first day of school for students is Aug. 26.

Ms. Hadley's schedule for Fall Semester.

First Period: ProStart 1ProStart students at work last year preparing the football team's meal

Second Period: Planning

Third Period: Foods 2 Enterprise

Fourth Period: ProStart 1


During Fall Semester, Ms. Hadley's classes will be preparing the pre-game meals for the J.V. football teams on Thursday.

Each Thursday, students will prep the meal and then volunteers will work after school to serve and clean up.

Volunteers will receive a free pass to a home Warrior football game.

My new favorite after-school snack

I first encountered Mexican Corn at a West Caldwell soccer game.

Along with the futbol and the dedicated fans, I got corn dressed with mayonnaise, hot sauce, parmesan cheese and lime.

In Mexico, it is served on the cob, slicked with mayonnaise and hot sauce and then rolled in a strong cheese like cotijo or parmesan. Sprinkled with lime, it is heavenly.

But last year one of my students introduced me to a variation on this idea - Mexican popcorn.

Same idea (minus the mayonnaise). Popcorn, hot sauce, parmesan and a little salt.

I eat it with a fork to cut down on the mess.

It's as easy as it sounds. Try some today.

It's time for the WONTONS!

O.K. I know that West Caldwell is wacky for wontons. But that's not all we're going to sell when Foods 2 Enterprise carries out the Entrepreneurship project this semester.

Beginning May 6, Ms. Hadley's two classes and Mr. Riggs' one class will be making Cream Cheese Wontons (of course), Oreo balls, Fried Dill Pickles, Fried Oreos, Red Candy Apples, Caramel Apples, and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels.

A new product we're trying out this semester is Homemade Caramel Apples. Caramel Apples made with store-bought caramels are too expensive. So we've been working on a homemade caramel dip.

Our expert is H.T. who has never made candy before, but is apparently very gifted at it.


In the photo at right, students dip apples. Also shown is a finished apple.



Oh how we love Character Cakes!

Each semester Foods 2 Enterprise students look forward to the Character Cake lab. It's a week of baking, icing, gel food color and general mayhem.

But at the end, there are those beautiful cakes and all those students filled with pride at what they've accomplished.

What I like best about character cakes is the absolute concentration that students have when they are working. I also love to see the pride on student's faces at what they can accomplish.

What I don't love is the absolute mess it makes -- but when it's all said and done, it's worth it.

Click here to see a slide show of the character cake photos from this semester's lab.

What's been going on in Ms. Hadley's
classroom lately?

Well, it's been a while since this page was updated - so here goes.

ProStart 2 did a lab where we roasted giant turkey legs and made homemade sauces to go with them.

ProStart 2 catered a luncheon for school administration and office staff. We made a salad bar with a choice of four homemade dressings and homemade croutons. OMGosh, homemade croutons are good.

We frosted grapes and made seasoned nuts (cinnamon sugar, chili spiced and Ranch), and we're going to be catering a snack buffet for the Caldwell County School Board on March 25.

Foods 2 finally finished ServSafe (thank goodness), and we are working on Knife Skills and Garnish. We sliced, diced, minced, julienned and chopped a mountain of vegetables. Then we made Vegetable Beef Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Click here to go to a page with the photos. You can then view them in  a slideshow.

First labs
for second semester

Ms. Hadley's foods classes (first period ProStart 2,  second and third period Foods 2) had their first labs the week of Jan. 15.

ProStart made a variety of sandwiches and breakfast foods this week including Monte Cristo and Croque Monsieur sandwiches, Julia Child's Cheese Souffle, Stuffed French Toast with Raspberry-Orange Syrup, Mini-Quiche and a variety of eggs from poached to deviled.

Foods 2 prepared Homemade Chicken Tenders and Macaroni and Cheese in the style of Naples from Lidia's Italy.  

Click here for a slide show of the ProStart 2 lab photos.

Click here for a slide show of the Foods 2 Lab photos.

Heavy Cream + Motion = Butter

ProStart students made butter in a Mason jar this week. They took turns shaking the jar until it became whipped cream. It was too thick to move then, so it was put into a mixer. It took about 30 minutes to separate the cream into butter and buttermilk.

The class is studying Chapter 1, Dairy products, eggs, breakfast foods and sandwiches this week.

Welcome to Second Semester 2012-2013

Ms. Hadley's Schedule:

First Period - ProStart 2
Second Period - Foods 2
Third Period - Foods 2

Chef's uniforms and sharp knives

Ms. Hadley's ProStart 1 classes have been catering for the WCHS football teams' pregame meals this semester. Each week the two classes prepare a meal for the J.V. and the Varsity teams.

The menus have ranged from spaghetti and taco salad to sloppy joes and barbecued pork.

This week (w/o Oct. 22) is the last one that classes will prepare the meal.




Click here for a slide show of other photos from ProStart foods labs.

AP = EP ÷ Yield Percent (expressed as a decimal)

ProStart Students are working on professionalism and using standard recipes in Chapter 4. That means this week Ms. Hadley had one whole workday of Kitchen Math. Can you imagine?

Actually this little formula is quite handy. AP is As Purchased. EP is Edible Portion. The most accurate way to measure ingredients is by weight, so it is generally pounds or ounces.

You get the yield percent from a resource like "The Book of Yields." It is a reference that has the percentage of EP, and therefore waste, listed for thousands of common restaurant supplies.

For more information on this handy little formula, click here for the PowerPoint explaining it (and illustrating it with photographs).

Groceries for the Football Team


It takes more than an hour to shop for the groceries for the football team's dinners every week. It's just sheer volume. One week, it took two carts.



Apparel 1 has entered the Tie Dye Zone!

Ms. Hadley's Apparel students recently experimented with tie dye as a part of their classroom work.

 Click here to see more photos of the students and their tie dye shirts (and shorts).

Important Information from the Caldwell County Schools.

"The school system retains control over what links will be placed on system-related websites; however, the linked sites themselves are not under the control of the school system, its agents or its employees.  The school system is not responsible for the contents of any linked site, any link contained in a linked site, or any changes or updates to such sites.  The school system provides links as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement of the site by the school system.  The school system reserves the right to remove or restrict any links."

Click here to see other slide shows of what has been going on in Ms. Hadley's classroom.

Color Theory Painting Lab  http://sc.caldwellschools.com/education/components/album/default.php?sectiondetailid=56770&