Niles area Girl Scouts hold successful Tasting Tea

Published 6:20 am Monday, February 23, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Where else can you get a plate of maandazi, spaghetti, tacos and cous cous for $4?
The Girls Scouts Tasting Tea on Saturday afternoon gave the Niles community an opportunity to taste all of these foods and many more from around the world.
The annual event allows each local Girl Scout troop to choose a country and present a taste of their culture.
The Tasting Tea was open to the public and plates were available for $4. It was held in the cafeteria of Ring Lardner from 1 to 3 p.m..
This year, the Tasting Tea offered foods from the Bahamas, Mexico, Italy, India, Kenya and Australia to name a few.
Renee Manry, the other co-service unit manager, agrees the Tasting Tea gives them a chance to try something a little different.
While the event primarily offers native foods, the troops also wore costumes, researched language and customs and decorated their display tables to fit the country they chose to represent.
Manry and her troop chose Australia and met each person with the traditional greeting of "G'day Mate."
The Saint Mary's troop chose the Bahamas and offered candied sweet potatoes, fruit salad and Bahama Mama pork.
The troop spent an evening at the library and did hours of internet research looking for possible recipes.
The troop's leader Karen Buda explained the significance of getting them to do research on the countries.
Lynda Adame, co-leader of a troop that chose Kenya, said having the girls make decisions about what country to choose and which of their foods to include can also help to develop their leadership skills.
Girl Scout Courtney Craft helped to make a Kenyan biscuit called maandazi.
She had a lot of fun preparing the food and she said it is something she will continue to make at home in the future.
Heidi Bucholz, troop leader for a group of kindergarteners and first graders who chose Mexico, agreed in the importance of building leadership and pointed out some of the event's additional benefits.
The troops are encouraged to select new countries each year, so they can expand their horizons even more.