It seems like the longest time of the school year is the weeks between winter break and spring break. This time period is notorious for having the most inside recess days of the year. Along with standardized tests being right around the corner, is it any wonder why teachers are catching every virus and feeling stressed to the max? To bring a little joy and stress-relief to your school, why not celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a Baked Potato Bar. This is one of the easiest luncheons to plan. You can do this with your grade level team or at the school level. Here's how to do it:
1. You can either collect money so one person can purchase the supplies or you can have a signup. When I was hospitality chairman I did a combination of this. Staff members could either pay $5 or sign up to provide a dessert. Everyone was happy this way! If you use a signup I highly recommend the site signupgenius.com.
2. Here's a sign you can print and hang up:
3. For potatoes, I recommend the baked potatoes at Costco. They have 20 lbs. bags of potatoes for $6.99. Each bag has 28-30 potatoes and are fairly uniform in size which will help with the cooking time. Be sure to get the "baked" potatoes. They also carry other types of potatoes.
4. There are different ways to cook baked potatoes. It depends on your school and its resources. At one of my former schools, we had a great cafeteria manager who baked them for us. Here's a website that tells of different ways to cook potatoes: BAKING INSTRUCTIONS. If different grade levels eat at different times, you can put baked potatoes in a cooler to keep them warm.
To add a little stress relief, you can make golden pouches (fidgets) for your staff. I am putting them in a black pot with the sign below:
Here are the steps for making golden pouches:
Supplies needed: Lentils (16 oz. bag makes 8 pouches), funnel, a black pot to add a touch of St. Patrick's Day fun, and balloons. I've tried different brands of balloons. Some brands are thin and break easily. Spritz, sold at Target, is the brand I prefer.
1. Blow into your balloon to open it up. Sometimes the sides of the balloon are stuck together which makes it difficult to fill with lentils. Then attach the balloon to the funnel. I fill the balloon over a bowl to catch any stray lentils.
2. I fill the balloon, then try to get as much trapped air out of the balloon as possible before I tie the balloon.
3. Fill the black pot with the golden pouches and hang the sign near it.