This week was a very busy week for the LCRC, but we pulled it off with the help of our amazing volunteers and wonderful staff!
On Tuesday evening, we held our Fresh Summer Harvest session in the Market kitchen at Covent Garden Market. We started off the night preparing refreshing lemonade and a flavourful salsa together. We then learned how to build a personalized stir-fry, and even developed the skills (and arm strength) required to make hand-whipped cream! We ended the evening by topping off a homemade vanilla pudding and mixed berry parfait with our fresh whipped cream….mmmmmmmm! Great cooking tips and tricks were provided by facilitators as well as participants. Penny, one of our participants, contributed a suggestion to substitute rice vinegar and salt for soy sauce in stir-fry. Dianne, our trusted volunteer and co-facilitator, suggested freezing lemon rind in a Ziploc bag for later use in baking. Eva, a coworker of mine at LCRC, even suggested saving the insides of tomatoes, after gutting them for salsa, and using them in soups, stews, or chili! Participants were also shown the proper techniques for dicing an onion and removing the seeds and membranes from a jalapeño pepper.
Participants are not the only ones who learn when our GROW COOK LEARN sessions run. I personally have further developed my communication, facilitation, demonstration and problem solving skills while performing my role in the program. I have the opportunity to use all these skills as I plan and prepare for each session. I am more aware now than ever that you cannot plan for everything, and that communication is key when working with a team! Speaking of my team, I have to thank Dianne, Eva, Temes, Chad, Marlene, Christine and, of course, Linda for helping out with this session!
Wednesday evening (I told you the week was busy!) we hosted the North Park Youth Group for a return visit to the Church of the Ascension demonstration garden in the Argyle Community. Chris, our Community Garden Coordinator, captivated the kids with his knowledge of planting, growing, and harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden. The group was so engaged and their enthusiasm overflowed into participation with hands waving so they would be chosen to answers the questions asked. They were eager to see how the carrots and potatoes they planted in the spring were doing, and I think they were surprised at how much they have grown in a matter of months! I have said this before and I will say it again….it is so important that youth know where their food comes from and how it is grown! We need to keep younger generations in the know when it comes to growing and harvesting their own food! Chris is an excellent instructor, an even better gardener, and we learned a lot from him!
Well that wraps up that fun filled week! No rest for us. We got right back at it and worked hard to get ready for Tuesday evening’s Summer BBQ sizzler which was another evening of learning, tasting and socializing. I am thrilled that we were able to work in collaboration with Chris Lyons from Chris’ Country Cuts who grilled up some fabulous dishes! Thanks to all that joined us for an interactive grilling experience! A big thanks to Chris for taking the time from his busy schedule to share his knowledge, experience and passion for grilling.