Q had told us all so many times that she had a tiny apartment and we wouldnâ€™t be able to cook in her small space…Â So it was particularly wonderful to arrive and find not only her wide smile but a very spacious, lovely home with a huge table to work at and plenty of room!
I can say, though, that it was a very interesting cultural experience.Â Q is Chinese and uses a very different array of cooking tools and methods than the rest of us.Â Her pans, kitchen setup and equipment were not what we were used to and it made the whole experience particularly interesting and fun.
The other wonderful thing about this session was the arrival of Spring â€“ heralded not only by the spectacular blossoms on the crab apple trees just by Qâ€™s balcony but by the spectacular spinach, kale, lettuce and other fresh, new-season goodies in our boxes!Â Phew!Â It felt SO good to be done with storage vegetables!Â We had survived and made it through the winter â€“ eating locally!
We happily set to work chopping, chatting and changing the fresh vegetables into a delicious, remarkably healthy lunch.Â The time passed in a flash and soon it was time to sit and eat.Â As we passed the dishes of food around, the talk turned to the future- the near future.Â The program funding will end in just a few weeks.Â Where do we go from here?Â Everyone agreed they wanted to keep cooking together, exploring ways to eat locally, eat on a budget, eat healthy food, build community, and keep deepening the friendships and our understanding of sustainable agriculture.
We talked about possible alternatives.Â Should we become two groups â€“ a weekday one and a weekend one?Â Should there be a spice exchange?Â Should we meet monthly?Â Which friends should we invite to increase the size if we became multiple groups? How do we work out the money angle?Â Should we set a really tight budget so as not to exclude anyone and see what we can make with that?Â Was there a way to incorporate slow cooking with an emphasis on beans and soups?Â We agreed to think about it and talk more when we next get together.
Itâ€™s so nice we have come so far together.Â It really felt like everyone was comfortable expressing their ideas and exploring ideas for the future.