“Kids in the Kitchen” explore Chinese cuisine

By Stacy Bender

Lakyn Rewerts inspects her orange dumplings as they came back from being steamed during the Gracious Table’s “Chinese New Year” Kids in the Kitchen class held Tuesday, December 29. Photo by Stacy Bender, The Montanian.


In anticipation of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year which will take place on February 12, 2021, the Gracious Table in Libby again opened its doors to welcome “Kids in the Kitchen” this past week.

Mochi ice cream, longevity noodles with beef and broccoli, orange dumplings, spring rolls, and dipping sauce were all on the menu for the day.  Each student was provided a pamphlet packed with recipes and 3 1/2 hours of culinary exploration then transpired.

“We started off by visiting about Prosperity, Happiness and the Lunar New Year,” shared Mandy Bell, owner and head chef at the Gracious Table. “Then we practiced using chopsticks and played some games to see how fast the kids could move items from one bowl to another.  It’s amazing how quickly they learn new things!”

Back in the kitchen, interactive conversation unfolded as each recipe was read and followed.  As common during class, a number of questions then arose.  For which ingredients could substitutes be found to accommodate allergies any one of the participants might have?  How could various math skills be use to achieve desired weight and volume measurements while doubling and/or dividing recipes? “Sometimes it works and sometimes we get a quarter cup of a certain ingredient instead of a quarter teaspoon, but that’s the fun of experimenting in the kitchen!” exclaimed Bell.

As the December class came to a close, the young cooks were polled on what they might like to make from scratch during a future class.  Pizza seemed to instantly engage the salvatory glands of all present when mentioned and so it was decided: pizza dough, sauce and topping preparation will be on the task menu for all those wishing to attend the next “Kids in the Kitchen” class to be held Saturday, January 16.

Those wishing to learn more about this and all future classes may do so by visiting https://www.facebook.com/GraciousTableMT, calling 406-263-7485, or by emailing Mandy@GraciousTableMT.com.  Requests can also be made to sign up for weekly emails outlining all upcoming events and edible opportunities the Gracious Table provides year-round for kids and adults alike.


Center court action in full swing for Logger & Trojan Basketball season

Trojan sophomore, Isabelle Tunison, proved she was ready to greet the 2021 Basketball Season head-on this past weekend as she fought her way through a sea of Thompson Falls defenders every time she sought to maneuver the ball down court.  “This was likely the toughest team we will see on the court this year,” shared assistant coach, Alanah Stenros, during the halftime break.  “It’s good to see some hustle out there on the Trojan court and I’m excited to see how they progress this season.”

Despite the formidable opponent and seniors down due to quarantine requirements and a foot surgery, the Trojans rallied by pulling from their JV roster to support rotations in the varsity game on Saturday, January 2.  They put a few points on the board in front of their hometown crowd which was heard shouting support from the stands right up to the final buzzer.  All varsity Trojan Teams will be on the road this week and are scheduled to return to their home court for play against Noxon on Tuesday, January 12.

Photo by Stacy Bender, The Montanian

Junior TJ Anderson stays high and watches the ball sink as his coaches and teammates come to their feet during the Libby Loggers’ season opener against Frenchtown this past Saturday at Ralph Tate Gymnasium.  It was a rough start for the Loggers who struggled to communicate on court during the first half and found themselves at a 24-17 deficit.  The successful fourth-quarter basket contributed to 33 points they would then bear down and accumulate during the closing half. And though a momentary Logger lead would transpire, the Broncs would quickly regain their momentum and claim the 50-47 win.

The Loggers will again take to their home court this coming Friday, January 8 against Columbia Falls, then travel to Browning for their first road-game of the season on Saturday, January 9.

Photo by Stacy Bender, The Montanian