Cooking Matters from the Inside

Can you meet the $10 Challenge? Cooking Matters grads Omega Headen and Cecelia Brooks can. After participating in Cooking Matters, they can put together a healthy meal from the grocery store for a family of four for under $10.

Omega and Cecelia learned how to meet the Challenge and other new skills in the 6-week course. Some of these skills included learning to cut up a whole chicken and understanding how to use fresh ginger and garlic. Students learned how to start with core ingredients and use “recipe frameworks” to be creative in making up recipes on their own and how to better use up ingredients in the fridge. From basic knife skills and food safety to learning how to make the most of food dollars, the students saw that there was a lot more to managing their home kitchens than just following a recipe.

What delighted Cecelia was trying new dishes. Each week, the class would make and sample a new recipe. Students are encouraged to go home to either make the dish or try something new from the Cooking Matters cookbook and share what they learned at home with the class. Being able to try new food and spice combinations means students get comfortable with unfamiliar recipes. Cecelia’s new favorite? Hoppin’ John.

The women both enjoyed the Cooking Matters program so much that they signed up to become Class Assistants afterwards. What makes the program so special? Both say it was the fun they had with the instructor and their classmates. With laughs and good cheer, the students learned new skills whether they were experienced or just starting out as home cooks.

Omega has been a Class Assistant for more than a year and found that every class is a little different which keeps her learning more and more. She hopes that more people take the class, particularly parents who want to learn how to cut down on buying food that’s already made and how to stretch their money. “You can learn a lot. You wouldn’t think so, but it sticks with you.” 

To learn more about Cooking Matters, please go here.

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