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This Cooking Lesson Was Easy as Pie


Godwin Heights seniors Donta Sanders and Damien Bell peeled the skin off green Granny Smith apples in long strips. They later assembled the tart apple slices, sweetened up with sugar and cinnamon, into pies.

“I’ve never made a pie before. It’s a cool experience to make pies with my friends,” said Damien.

Art teacher Deanne Basse teaches students to make pies to bring home for Thanksgiving
Art teacher Deanne Basse teaches students to make pies to bring home for Thanksgiving

Art teacher Deanne Basse led the after-school apple pie-making extravaganza with about 40 ninth- through 12th graders, explaining how to measure, peel and criss-cross strips of dough into lattice to top their pies.

Related Story: ‘I’m Thankful for Everything’ – Sporting a dress shirt and tie, Godfrey Elementary fourth-grader Alexander Zavala sat out during recess so he wouldn’t get dirty. The reason? “Today is a special day. We are having a Thanksgiving feast!” he said. It was a feast indeed, and fourth-graders spent an entire school day preparing for it. They cut, chopped and peeled veggies and pulled meat from rotisserie chickens disguised as mini “turkeys.” They learned to whip up mashed potatoes, mix corn meal…

Senior Maria Rios peels with Spartan discipline

It was the second year for the pre-Thanksgiving event with the mission of sending students home with pies.

“Not a lot of the kids have a lot of experience in cooking,” said Basse, who loves to bake. “This is a way they can contribute to their families.”

Bill Shafer, high school director of information services, donated more than 300 apples, and other staff members chipped in with supplies as well.

Students left with ready-to-pack pies, but it was questionable whether the pastries would last until Thanksgiving.

“I’m eating it today,” Donta said. “My mom will give me a hand.”

Seniors Donta Sanders and Damien Bell said spending time cooking with friends was a treat in itself

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

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