Every Sunday I cook a big meal to share with friends and family. Taking the time to shuffle through a pile of recipes, warm up the kitchen and gather around the table creates a foundation for my week. I cook, not just to feed, but also to nurture the people and relationships I care about. I look forward to gathering ingredients from my garden, farm box and market to create a healthy meal that nourishes and brings people together.
To my excitement, this weekend I discovered a community-sized version of my kitchen tradition just up the street from my home. At the Wallingford Community kitchen, chef and nutritional therapist Rachel Duboff, brings community members, neighbors, friends and family together for monthly cooking classes and shared meals. Eager to learn more about the program, I spoke with Duboff, who replied with an audible passion that inspired me to RSVP immediately.
This month is a special holiday event where everyone brings an ingredient for soup and a freeform meal is created on the spot. As I spoke with her I thought about the carrots I needed to dig out of the garden and could bring to share with everyone. “I just published a list of suggested ingredients and when people arrive we will figure out what we can put together,” Duboff said casually. “It’s a really neat experience to be in an environment with people where it is not about any one person or recipe but about the community and being together to learn.”
As a newbie to the neighborhood I am excited to have an opportunity to get involved with my community. As our conversation came to an end, something Duboff said really stuck with me. “The most exciting thing,” she said, “is that the people are participating and are excited about food. You can walk out with a full belly, a little bit of leftovers and the skills to feed yourself, your family and your community well.”
Have no fear friends and family; my Sunday tradition will not be replaced. Taking part to nourish and build health in the community is something I am excited to add to my traditions. I look forward to returning to my kitchen with more food, ideas and community to share with you.
Please visit http://greenwallingford.ning.com/events/wallingford-community-kitchens-3 for more information, including class times and location.