here and there

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kicking the KD Habit

I read with great interest the article in the Calgary Herald
Like Chapson, I have also cringed when I see grocery carts loaded with only prepackaged food boxes!  The space allotted for single ingredient products is shrinking in supermarkets with the increase of prepackaged food.   It amazes me that age and income do not seem to be a factor.  Last week while standing in line at an express line, a senior eyeing the Blue Label (a nurtrtional line) oatmeal display, instead of picking up the steel cut oatmeal, she placed the instant oatmeal package into her basket.  I wondered as to her choice and the nutritional value of the product for a senior woman.
    The free ten-week program for university students is such an excellent idea, sadly only fifteen can participate!

    My daughter who just graduated last June from a university program struggled with eating healthy while time managing her studies, work and budget. Time and budget were an issue grocery shopping.  Returning late at night after a busy day, it was easier to microwave popcorn as a quick solution for hunger.

There is a whole area that comes into play here while living alone and going to school.  Such things as having the time to prepare a meal, having the supplies, cost of supplies to do a specific dish and quick solutions to just eating anything to satisfy one’s hunger. Healthy eating is not a priority!

However, this fall she registered in a program through the Vancouver School Board, a six-week course that explored world tastes in a three hour hands on class, each group of three prepare an appetizer or soup, entrĂ©e and dessert.  They sampled dishes from Spain, Italy, New Orleans, Greece, India and France, making things like crepes, gumbo, mousse, tiramisu, lasagne, white cheese sauce, roux, cornbread along with cooking steak in an oven and handling phyllo dough and so forth.  The participants also eat what they prepare at a cost of under 30 dollars an evening. Her group took turns bring a bottle wine for the evening!

I also did not know how to cook while in university, instead of microwave popcorn, I survived on coffee from a food dispenser while studying late on campus.  My only recipe in my repertoire was making pizza from a Chef Boyardee pizza kit but again that was only made on the weekend.  Yes, these Pizza kits still are available.  I have no idea what I ate the rest of the time as 35 years ago there were not the fast food vendors on campus and limited elsewhere.  Imagine a world without Starbucks or Tim Horton's.

I remember with great fondness as a young bride, the classes I took at Genie Test Kitchen in Winnipeg.  Recipes were prepared for us in evening classes, which we sampled and recipes were provided for us as references.  Their help-line proved most helpful on many occasions.  The cost of the evening classes was around 10 to 15 dollars, which brings me to the next point. 

In last Friday’s Swerve magazine, I read with interest the classes offered by Blue Flame ATCO and quite frankly I fall off the chair at the cost!  My thought was who were they targeting and what is the number of participants in these classes.  My daughter as an employed young profession agonised at the price of the course she was taking in Vancouver.  For many reasons, hand on experience, cost of the course, spirit of camaraderie in preparing and sharing a meal and later successfully preparing these same dishes for friends, my daughter has signed up for the next spring course exploring six other culinary world tastes.

Many times, I have looked over our community association booklet outlining their programs for our area and think I should offer my services to teach courses, something I have done in other cities.  I think it is time to get involved!
Kraft cracks down on cooking classes
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