This is Nikki, a young mother who came to the Clubhouse to cook! She copied Mother Connie’s favorite spaghetti sauce recipe so she can use some of the tomatoes she canned from her garden!
It was thrilling to have Nikki ask to come and cook with Mother Connie! She had some end of the garden goodies; I had some pantry items. We decided to make soup, talk about cooking and food and hang out together! Her husband brought their children when it was time to eat and another family of four joined us for the party!
Before Nikki arrived I assembled a few items to incorporate into our soup:
Not sure what Nikki would bring, I thought we could begin with the famous onion/carrot/celery threesome and these items.
I drizzled a bit of oil into a large pot and added the goodies to soften them and add savor to the soup…
As these veggies sauteed I added a bit of salt and pepper. When Nikki arrived, we added her eggplant, potatoes, more carrots, and some canned tomatoes. We also used a spoonful or so of tomato paste and just a touch of sugar (to cut the tomato a tad). We had LOTS of broth and we added a bit of water, and some precooked quinoa. There was frozen corn and frozen peas to add for flavor, nutrition and color. Nikki had dehydrated some kale so those flakes were sprinkled in to add color, flavor and nourishment. Vegetable broth was added to give dimension to the flavor profile and add volume. We talked about how we could have used cabbage or noodles or other vegetable combinations. We added some basil to the soup just before it was served. YUM YUM YUM
Since Nikki and her family are vegetarian we talked about all the ways there are to get complete protein. She is well aware of how important optimum nutrition is and we swapped ideas about what to cook and how to make various dishes or adapt them.
We also made a ginormous salad (which of course we forgot to photograph!). We began by shredding dark greens. We added tender, sweet butter lettuce pieces we tore. Then we layered kidney beans, cranberries, quinoa, almond slivers, Napa cabbage, broccoli and tossed everything together. Shame on Mother Connie for not capturing the beauty of the greens on camera!
We laid everything out on the table and served the food buffet style from the stove. One of our little guests, Ava, who is 10, brought a loaf of soda bread to share THAT SHE HAD BAKED ALL BY HERSELF! It was tasty and crusty and made a fine partner for the loaf of sourdough bread that Nikki brought to share!
I think the littlest guests had fun:
The afternoon and evening was more of a party than a cooking class! It made my heart go pitter-patter. I was as happy as a pig in mud!
If you have garden goodies left you are no doubt fixing stir fry dishes, soups and canning or freezing things as you have the time. Maybe you use food from a food pantry or you have food commodities. If you have an EBT card from SNAP or WIC it’s likely you have created home made soups and such like. Maybe you have played with the seasonings to suit your family’s fancy. In any case this little corner of the internet is devoted to those of you who struggle mightily with your food budget. We hope to help you stretch the food dollars and eat as well and wisely as you possibly can. If you have joined our ranks and are receiving the little series of cooking tips we offer, we dearly hope you find them helpful.
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PS/ SENCA will be offering another cooking class in Tecumseh, Nebraska in November; details will be forthcoming. There will be no cost but interested people can reserve a spot at the table by calling 402 335 2134. Ask for Terri.
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