Guest Blogger: Shari Bechler
Have you ever gone to your pantry, stared at its contents, and wondered, what could I possibly make for dinner with these ingredients? You are not alone—we have all been there! Now imagine that you have little money to purchase additional groceries. Not only do you have the dilemma of what to prepare, but also how to make dinner affordable.
We try to address these issues with our food pantry cooking classes held here at GUMchurch on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. We try to make our classes fun, interesting, nutritious and delicious! The last cooking class I taught, our theme was butternut squash. After a discussion about our favorite ways to eat butternut squash, I demonstrated how to microwave the squash to make it easier to peel. Then we followed step-by- step recipes for savory Cajun fries and a roasted squash salad, talking about tips and substitutions along the way. Finally, we came to our favorite part- sampling the dishes we had prepared!
In addition to the cooking portion of the class, we also try to learn about good nutrition. In purchasing items from the grocery store we try to avoid processed foods or foods with little or no nutritional value. These are often foods we crave- like soda, candies, chips and cookies. Instead, we benefit from selecting foods that are nutrient dense, foods fresh from the farm and rich in color. Although other foods may be less expensive, without the nutrients, they are no bargain.
We enjoy sharing food, recipes and stories when we come to cooking class. One of my favorite aspects of class is learning new things from the people who come. It is also fun to enjoy food and fellowship together!
Want to learn more about the Community Cupboard and the pantry cooking class? Contact Missions@GUMonline.org