Community cookbook brings people together after lockdown

For anyone looking to share meals with family and friends after lockdown this summer ‘Recipes from Home’ is a new family cookbook, created by six community groups in Kirklees, packed with easy-to-follow recipes.

TSL Kirklees has been helping the groups to put on cooking and healthy eating classes in their communities, with the help of Bev Juniper from Juniper Foodwise.  

When the idea of a community cookbook came about, they helped pull it together and get funding and support from the National Lottery Awards for All and One17 Charitable Trust. The resulting cookbook means that the six very diverse Kirklees groups can now share recipes that are important to them and their families.

Bridget Hughes, Supporting Communities Lead, TSL Kirklees says, explains “Eating together is something that many people have really missed during lockdown and research shows that the more often people eat with others the happier they feel. Which is why we’d love everyone to have a go at the recipes in ‘Recipes from Home’ and share their meals with friends and family – in accordance with government guidelines of course!

TSL Supporting Communities works to help voluntary and community groups put on activities and support local people and that includes some fantastic cooking groups. Cooking is a wonderful way to bring people together, where they can share tips, recipes, and memories of their favourite meals. 

Cooking healthy meals on a budget is also an important life skill and these meals are tried and tested by all our community group cooks, who before the pandemic were able to meet up and share their love of cooking with each other. So, if you’ve not had a chance to practice your culinary skills during lockdown now is the perfect time!”

All the money from the sale of the books goes to the 6 groups involved to help them continue to run their projects that use food as a way of bringing people together whilst making nutritious meals on a budget.

‘Recipes from Home’ has some great ideas for meals and snacks that are perfect for sharing either on picnics in the park or when meeting up in gardens, including:

A warming soup recipe for when the weather feels too chilly for meeting up outside! From Men’s Matters “library takeaway cooking group” the soup is made from just a handful of ingredients. 

Chana Chaat, a quick and easy snack for park bench meetups from the Ravensthorpe Rosoi. One of their members says “Taking part in the community cookbook project has inspired us. We want to encourage more people of all ages to get together to cook and eat healthy food.”

Sausage Rolls from Worth Unlimited Lowerhouses cooking club are perfect for popping in a picnic.  Roxanne, a member of the group says “When I made this with my children, I added paprika for a kick and the kids loved them. You could also add apple sauce instead of mixed herbs for a sweeter taste.”

The funds raised by the sale of the cookery book will go to support the six contributing community groups, helping others learn how to enjoy cooking nutritious meals on a budget.

  • Crosland Moor Cooks got together to design and cook some tempting dishes to encourage their older children to ditch the junk in favour of healthier family meals.
  • DASH Huddersfield a group of refugees and asylum seekers who wanted to do traditional dishes from their different cultures – Kurdish, Moroccan, Malaysian, Russian, Ghanaian.
  • Home-Start Kirklees wanted to do easy healthy versions of takeaways that their kids would each, like a 4-step sweet and sour chicken
  • Men’s Matters – Dalton Together wanted to do classics like fish pie, and omelette and one 92 year-old member wanted to learn how to make creamy mushrooms on toast like his mum use to make him for tea.
  • Ravensthorpe Rosoi – Ravensthorpe Community Centre wanted to do their own fusion food – spicy versions of  classics like Shepherd’s Pie.  Their members were from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Egypt and they wanted to reflect their multi-cultural community
  • Worth Unlimited Lowerhouses a group of mums, most with large families and low incomes with busy lives who know how important quick and fun recipes are for families – especially when they can get the kids involved with cooking!

Bridget ends, “As a small local charity, working with many community groups, TSL Kirklees knows the importance of cooking in bringing people together to share recipes, laughter, memories and of course, creating food to nourish the body and connections to boost wellbeing.

Huge thanks to ONE17 Charitable Trust, Wendy Marsden for the original idea, National Lottery Awards for All – and above all, to the groups who took part.”

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