Sarah Vokey and Christian Willey of the Thorndike Creamery in Rockland joined the Youthlinks Soup Kitchen program on Tuesday, February 26. Each week students in the Youthlinks Soup Kitchen program are joined by a local chef who shares a signature dish with the group and teaches kitchen safety skills. Students take these learned skills to prepare a meal one Saturday a month at the St. Peter’s soup kitchen in Rockland.
Vokey, owner of the popular pizza and ice cream parlor in Rockland, came prepared with all the ingredients required to make a perfect pizza from scratch. Though Youthlinks staff and program participants were asked to keep the recipes secret, all were shown how to make a signature Thorndike pizza. Vokey showed students the proper technique to making pizza dough without over-kneading. Willey showed students how to stretch the dough over their hands, which requires a gentle, yet firm touch. Willey also demonstrated some impressive dough tossing skills, which no participant dared mimic.
During the process of cooking a sauce from scratch, Vokey pointed out the difference in flavor between a raw tomato and the complexity of a cooked sauce, encouraging students to taste the sauce before and after the introduction of fresh herbs. Students were able to create their own 10 inch pizza to take home. Vokey showed students how to bake a pizza in a home oven with the help of a makeshift bread paddle by way of a wooden cutting board.
On Saturday, March 9th, students Kat Howarth and Takoda Peasley were joined by Youthlinks program managers Sarah Woodman and Josie Gates at the St. Peter’s soup kitchen. Kat and Takoda used the lessons shared by Willey and Vokey to create a pizza lunch for soup kitchen diners. The two students used tomato sauce and pizza dough made with the Thorndike recipe, chopped vegetables and pepperoni for toppings, and baked their own pizzas to serve to guests. Students also provided a green salad and an apple crisp for dessert.
Student Kat Howarth stated that it was “Definitely interesting to learn how they make the pizza, which is the best pizza in town. And it was a great experience to volunteer at the soup kitchen. It was really nice of them to come.”
Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.