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Samuel L. Jones team takes ‘Poppin’ Salsa to cooking competition

Decatur Editor's Pick Food

Samuel L. Jones team takes ‘Poppin’ Salsa to cooking competition

Rubie Taylor, Autumn Lockwood and Michaela Olufeso serve their grilled corn salsa at Metro Atlanta Boys and Girls Club 'Salsa, Salsa Celebration' on Wednesday at Georgia Tech.
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By Cathi Harris, contributor 

Combining some newly acquired culinary skills with an adventurous spirit, five kids from the Samuel L. Jones Boys and Girls Club on East Lake Drive took their creation, “Grilled ‘Poppin’ Corn Salsa” to the 5th Annual Salsa, Salsa Celebration held Wednesday morning at the Bill Moore Student Success Center on the Georgia Tech campus.

A fundraiser benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, the competition features homemade salsa prepared by teams from each of the 22 clubs in the region. Kids at the clubs grow most of their ingredients in gardens at each site, then come up with a recipe to prepare and present at “Salsa, Salsa.”

“We called ours poppin’ corn salsa because the Jones club is always popping,” said the team’s coordinator Miss Love. “Most of the other clubs are bringing things like peach salsa, mango salsa. We wanted to go with something different.”

The kids gathered in the club’s kitchen Monday and Tuesday to prepare ingredients: chopping onions, slicing tomatoes, dicing jalapenos, and juicing limes to mix with their signature ingredient: grilled corn. Club staff helped grill nine ears of fresh corn, which the kids then shucked and shaved to add to the mix.

“I learned a lot about how to use knives and cutting vegetables from culinary class [at the club] and watching ‘Chopped,’” said team member Michaela Olufeso, 11.

The teams will be judged on overall taste, originality and creativity of their recipes. In addition to the salsa, they also must prepare a trifold display featuring a printed recipe and photos demonstrating how it was prepared. All ingredients are supposed to be fresh, with no canned ingredients or boxed seasonings allowed.

The team members have to serve their salsa — and have enough prepared to serve 100 people — and answer questions from the judges during the competition.

Although the team’s salsa did not win the competition this year, Miss Love said it helps encourage the kids to learn about food and cooking and develop new interests.

“We have gone every year, and I think it is a really good thing,” Love said.

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