UH Lab School seniors cook up a new cookbook


POSTED: Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Once you're out of school, the concept of Project Graduation fades to the edges of consciousness — until you have a kid in high school. Then, if you're the get-involved type, Project Grad can take over your life.

At ground level, Project Grad is a booze-free graduation-night party that keeps seniors from getting too heady with their new adulthood. But these parties have grown over the years into huge affairs, sometimes involving secret destinations, specialized entertainment and elaborate goodie bags.

The night can cost tens of thousands of dollars, which means supersonic fundraising. Thus was the Project Grad cookbook born. It's become a favorite way of funding a big chunk of these events for many schools.

At the University of Hawaii Lab School, 45 seniors will graduate with the 2010 class, each one charged with raising $500 for the big night. Enter the moneymaking tool: “;Cookin' with the Class of 2010 Seniors.”;

The cookbook is a good example of what these publications do best: compile well-tested, ethnically diverse recipes that are kid-friendly in terms of taste and user-friendly in terms of kitchen effort. This one includes instructions for making chicken curry in a Crock Pot, chili with kalua pig and three bottles of beer, and such gotta-be-family favorites as Momma and Pappy's Cucumber and Onion Salad.

By happy coincidence, the cookbook also has an answer for a correspondent I know only as Roger M., who loves meatloaf but would like to grow out of his usual tomato sauce-flavored formula. He doesn't want anything complicated, though, and even suggests that some prepackaged seasonings would be nice.

The version below, contributed by Joan Yamamoto, “;friend of the Class of 2010,”; is a good combination of ease and innovation. It uses a tasty combination of ground pork and beef, plus a can of minced clams, with onion soup mix for flavoring.

The cookbooks sell for $18. Order by e-mail — .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) — or call 228-9076. Postage is $5 per book, but save that amount by picking up your copy at the Lab School's Multi Purpose Building, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.



2 slices whole wheat bread
6-1/2 ounce can minced clams, reserve liquid
1 pound ground beef
1/2 to 3/4 pound ground pork
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 carrot, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 egg
1-ounce package onion soup mix
Pepper and garlic salt, to taste
» Gravy
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, with liquid
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Soak bread in liquid from clams. Then combine with remaining ingredients. Shape into a loaf in center of 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake 45 to 60 minutes.

To make gravy: Combine mushrooms, with liquid, and soup. Pour over meatloaf in last 15 minutes of baking, basting often as gravy browns.

Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis (not including salt to taste): 430 calories, 28 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 135 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,000 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 30 g protein


Nutritional analyses by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S. Send queries to “;By Request,”; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Send e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).