Community cooking group starts soon
“You don’t need to know how to cook to join my Collective Kitchen groups,” said the Stanstead Collective Kitchen program’s coordinator and cook extraordinaire, Chantal Lambert. “You just need to like to eat!” she added. The Stanstead Collective Kitchen group, after taking a break during the summer, will be starting up again in the first week of September and Ms. Lambert is hoping that more people will want to try it out.
The program gives people a chance to get together twice a month, at the Community Hall in the Beebe sector, to cook large meals together, learn new recipes and cooking techniques, learn how to shop for food economically, learn about nutrition and socialize with others who enjoy cooking. The program also saves both time and money for the participants: they cook meals in large quantities when they get together, then share them, and the program provides, free of charge, many of the basic ingredients for cooking such as flour, sugar, powdered milk, pasta, grains like rice and oatmeal, dried beans, herbs and spices, cooking oil and more. “The participants only have to pay for the fresh ingredients used in the recipes like the meat, vegetables, fruit and cheeses,” said Ms. Lambert. Participants also pay a yearly fee of $1 per person that they are cooking for. For example, one person who feeds a family of four, including them self, would pay $4 for the entire Collective Kitchen session from September to June. Certainly a bargain! Ms. Lambert also runs a similar program for the parents of children who take part in the CAB RH Rediker’s children’s program.
During a visit to a Collective Kitchen session in Beebe last June, three women were busily preparing several meals at once with some help from Chantal. Marie Bonner, Carol Hudson and Marie Claude Rheault were preparing stuffed breakfast peppers, a Greek salad, a pasta salad, a scrumptious Chicken Brocolli Divan, cinnamon rolls and zuchini bread. “First we start by everyone cutting all the vegetables for the recipes together, then they do one recipe each,” explained Chantal. At the end of the day of cooking, the meals are divided up, depending on how many mouths there are to feed at home.
“We’re always cooking new recipes and learning new things, and the kids like everything I bring home,” said Marie Claude. “I have fussy kids and sometimes they like the food and sometimes they don’t. They take