Cooking in the Community

What an Experience!

The purpose of the workshop was to show the variety, versatility, and affordability of a particular dish. The idea to do a cookbook came out of previous workshops where we were teaching clients about the importance of money management. Food is a big chunk of our monthly expenses as we all must eat. While discussing options to reduce food costs we asked the Bridge members where they do a lot of their shopping. We were shocked to hear the men answer “7 Eleven.” With this information, we decided to create workshops that taught individuals how to cook meals that are affordable, nutritious, and delicious. We wanted to show the men that there is a way to spice up simple meals by using simple ingredients so that they can be more nutritious, filling and delicious. We started off by thinking of what grocery staples most individuals have in their households or could get from food banks.

We decided to make 6 different versions of mac and cheese to show how affordable it can be, as well as the different varieties there are. Moreover, the recipes showed the versatility of some ingredients as well as substitutes that can be used instead of traditional ingredients. Men worked well in groups of two. All of the participants had never made homemade macaroni and cheese before the cooking class and shared positive feedback when the class was over. We were able to make dinner for thirty people with lots of leftovers for a marginal cost of $97.50.

This included the six dishes of macaroni and cheese, a large garden salad, garlic bread and a delicious punch. Therefore it cost $3.20 per person to eat a nutritious, delicious and filling meal.