Happy Women’s Month

Precious Richards, The Sylvia Center’s teen blogger writes about finding her inner power and embracing what it is to be a woman. It’s not the destination that matters but the journey we take to get there.

Happy Women’s Month everyone!

While it may be a funny coincidence that the two most powerful women I know, my mom and my sister, both have March birthdays, it’s no coincidence that they taught me most of the things I know. Two things I learned from my mom is to always push yourself to do what you want to do and never give up. My mom became a certified nursing assistant late in life, but it’s something she’s always wanted to do, hence why she never gave up and just did it. She pushed herself and worked hard. My sister taught me to be brave and to be ready for anything. Throughout my life, my sister has taught me to dive in instead of hesitating and overthinking things leading to self-doubt. It leads me to take action and helped to strengthen my confidence. In fact, it was my sister who encouraged me to do the Teen Culinary Apprenticeship. A powerful woman means being yourself no matter who is around. Being powerful is having fear but being brave at the same time. It means not letting fear take over and prevent yourself from achieving goals.

Since I started the Teen Culinary Apprenticeship, I’ve been exposed to a healthier way of eating. To me, healthy eating is substituting not so healthy foods with foods that our bodies will thank us for in the long run. Becoming more independent and stronger is beneficial to developing as a human. I found that when I ate healthier, I not only became stronger but I felt more independent because I was making these choices for myself, no matter what other people were doing around me.

Being powerful comes from within. Eating healthier and being your most unapologetic self is a great way you put yourself first and take care of yourself from within. Before the program, I didn’t know how to cook without using a bunch of seasonings in my food. Eventually, I learned how to use any type of item laying around my house to create something great. I also learned how to substitute certain ingredients if another was missing. When I learned things in cooking class, I went home and practiced what I learned at home, and my family realized a different way of life we could live. A healthier way of life doesn’t taste worse or even different! When my family discovered the ways we can be healthier as a whole, we started changing how and what we eat. Especially coming from a Caribbean household, where we eat healthy things, it’s just a matter of what we prepare it with. With the class, we have changed our habits for the better.e.

At the beginning of Summer Teaching, I started off with the uneasiness of being separated from my immediate friends while trying to make new friends. I didn’t understand why my chef instructor did this, but over my Summer Teaching experience, I learned that being forced out of my comfort zone helped me to grow. This made me realize that sometimes you need other people to help bring out the powerful woman inside of you to advance your growth.

Lastly, I learned endurance. Being a powerful woman isn’t about the destination, but rather the journey. Throughout your journey, you will encounter hardships but gaining endurance will change your life. The Teen Culinary Apprenticeship was not easy and there were many times I wanted to cry or quit, but I knew that quitting wasn’t going to help me achieve anything in life. Just like adding a pinch of salt, the Teen Culinary Apprenticeship helped bring out the unknown flavors in my life.

As a young woman, I am constantly being tested in my life. I have to deal with the fact that people still believe it’s a man’s world. Once people start to understand the talent and stamina women bring to the table, the world will be a better place.  The things I learned in the Teen Culinary Apprenticeship helped me break out of my shell, feel confident, and made me realize how awesome and dare I say, a powerful woman, I actually am. I urge women this month to try something! So switch up your workout, take a class, or just do something out of your comfort zone because you never know what will stick and/or what doors will open up. This weeks recipe is from a powerful woman I had the pleasure of meeting and learning photo techniques from, Jenn de la Vega, best known for Randwiches. Enjoy!

Adapted from “Showdown Comfort Food, Chili & BBQ” by Jenn de la Vega

Buttermilk Chicken Skewers
Makes: 4 large or 8 small skewers
Total Time: 20 minutes active, up to 8 hours passive

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb (900 g) chicken breast
  • 2 cups (475 ml) buttermilk
  • ¼ cup + 1 tsp (75 g + 6 g) kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp (40 g) fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp (20 g) fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp (20 g) oregano, chopped
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) butter, melted
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

 Directions:

  1. Soak wood skewers in cold water overnight.
  2. Cut the chicken into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes and brine in the buttermilk and kosher salt for 4 to 8 hours.
  3. Combine the herbs with the melted butter, garlic and olive oil. Store until you’re ready to grill.
  4. Skewer 3 pieces of chicken on each stick.Grill on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Finish the skewers with a brush of melted herb butter. If you’re doubling the recipe, a service trick I have is to keep the butter mixture in a grill safe container on the cold side of the grill and dunk the sticks instead of brushing individually.
  5. Alternatively, you can bake these skewers at 350℉  (177℃) for 15 minutes, until they read on internal temperature of 165℉ (74℃).