A slice of Culver to your home
May 28, 2020

It might become known in Culver lore as the great “Eggs in Purgatory Incident” of 2020.

It was certainly one of the most attention-getting recipes used by Director of Student Activities Kathy Talbot in her daily Culver Quarantine Activities 2020 bulletins. Assistant Director of International Achievement Jessica Lawrence submitted Eggs in Purgatory for inclusion in one of the bulletins. Talbot ran a teaser about the recipe on April 30, along with a photo and a comment about how she couldn’t wait to try it.

But she forgot to attach the recipe to the email.

“The comments started coming back almost immediately,” Talbot laughed. She had enticed so many people with the photo and introductory paragraph, they wanted to know more – now.

So she made sure to include the recipe in the May 1 bulletin. By the way, Talbot said, she has made the dish and highly recommends it.

Such are the tales of a student activities director who doesn’t have students on campus to plan activities for. Since April 1, Talbot has produced a daily bulletin seven days a week that includes a body weight workout of the day, countdown to graduation, notices, recipes, and movie and book recommendations. She plans to make Saturday her last post of the school year.

The bulletin is based on the weekend activities bulletin she sends out when the students are on campus. The daily workout replaces the home sports listing. Talbot got the ABC Home Boot Camp from her sister. She adapted some of the exercises and uses significant Culver words to spell out the exercises. This week has included Gate and Arch.

She has also included activities that Wellness Director Dana Neer has provided families in the Culver community. That way students can offer their families different activities to do during the week. One notable event was the Max Move 10-mile walk/run that drew a big response.

Kathy Talbot

Along the way, Talbot has added sections. The bulletin now includes the Countdown to Graduation that her daughter helped set up and the quote of the day. The Shack (“Open 24/7! Also known as your home kitchen.”) has included the famous egg recipe, sourdough bread, brownies, and grape popsicles. The recommendations are often based on if the food is being celebrated on the national day calendar.

She has noticed one interesting trend in the recipe recommendations sent to her.

“The kids are sending in the healthier recipes, ones that are gluten-free and vegan,” Talbot said. “The faculty and staff are submitting the desserts, brownies, and cookies.”

Talbot has tried making some of the recipes herself, with varying degrees of success. Her first attempt at making sourdough bread was a complete failure, she said. But the second time, it turned out just right. However, after baking the bread, Talbot discovered “I don’t like sourdough.”

She has tried to work ahead since each bulletin takes about two hours to complete, but she often does some last-minute editing as people submit items. When she finishes on Saturday, she plans to get each day printed off “just for myself,” so she has a record of what this period was like.

Talbot has heard a lot of feedback from both the students and adults. Some commenting on the workouts. Others on the recipes. And more on the movies. Many of the students, though, have sent notes of thanks for just providing a taste of Culver each day they have been away.

And, while she has had to work to keep the bulletins fresh, Talbot said, “it’s been fun. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

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