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Serving up solidarity

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21 June 2019

Take a few cups of goodwill and a dash of encouragement. Garnish with cooking skills and what do you get? A recipe, we hope, for a healthy community.

Jeanette, Louise, Lynley and Fraser cook up a storm at Eveleyn Couzins.

Christchurch Area Manager Fraser has been thinking of ways to keep bringing our tenants and staff together and has come up with an idea where everyone wins – cooking classes.

The now-regular sessions at our Eveleyn Couzins Ave, Richmond complex kicked off with a sizzle recently and the plan is to continue providing our tenants with the skills to cook themselves fresh, wholesome food.

Tenancy Manager Lynley said recipe cards would be given to tenants so they could re-create the meals themselves. However, the gatherings weren’t just about cooking skills.

“It’s more about us being there to connect with people. It’s about us doing something nice for the tenants and building that community as well.

“This gives us a place where our tenants can come and have a chat with us, and we can have a chat with them in a casual environment that’s not an inspection.”

Fraser was first to cook a main, serving up a Thai green curry to fill hungry bellies. Tenants thought his stovetop skills were flippin’ awesome.

While providing healthy options is a key focus, it’d be remiss not to include the odd treat as well.

That was where Intensive Tenancy Manager Louise and Placement Support Specialist Jeanette came in.

Using a recipe passed down from Louise’s grandmother, the duo prepared a treat for tenants – sponge drops.

“They’re called that because our ones look like they’ve been dropped from a huge building,” Jeanette said with a laugh.

The generations-old family recipe was lacking a few details we might take for granted in a modern cookbook. Things like oven temperature and cook time were missing from the instructions.

As a result, Louise and Jeanette were critical of their own creation, but it was certainly a hit with tenants.

“The tenants loved it,” Lynley said. “Everyone really appreciated everything.”

Louise takes some sponge drops, her grandmother’s recipe, out of the oven. The cooking classes were Fraser’s idea, so he served a Thai green curry for the first main. The end result was a hit with tenants.

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