Com­mu­nity cook­ing group starts soon

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

“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

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

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