It seemed that almost every magazine I picked up in the last couple of years has been singing the praises of Community or Collective Kitchen’s. The joint efforts of combining knowledge, experience, ideas and cultural diversity are enough to make anyone think this may be a good idea. Then throw in pooling resources to make meals more affordable, fostering a sense of community and some good plain fun and I thought we may have a winner.
The idea was brought forth at one of our Health Promoting School meetings and met with solid support from everyone. Deb Anderson and I took a 3 day training session that was offered in Saskatoon. I think this was a valuable tool for anyone wanting to get something like this started. It made us aware of things we probably would not have thought of on our own, made many contacts, ongoing support and provided us with different tools to use.
Our first Collective Kitchen was held Jan 27/2015. It was attended by 8 people from a diverse mix in our community. We didn’t want to overwhelm anyone so we started out fairly simple with a brief introduction to what is a Collective Kitchen, rules and expectation and ideas of how we can make this work going forward. We all told a little about ourselves to break the ice. Our first foray into cooking as a group was very successful we each made a double batch of muffins to take home to share with our families and we made 4 dozen muffins to be sold at the Booth in our school for kids’ lunches to help offset the costs involved.
Not only did we all feel that we had a productive night there were a lot of laughs, suggestions made and plans firmly in place for our next night. We had people asking if we could accommodate new people next time. More people were calling the next day to see if they could be included next time. We had everyone fill out an evaluation form to let us know how we did and to find out what everyone wanted to gain from this experience. The feedback was very positive and the common thread seemed to be to learn new skills, eat healthier and a sense of community.
Thanks to everyone that came out! Stay tuned for the next Collective Kitchen!!
Dezi Diederichs and Deb Anderson (and the HPS team)