Cooking up a Storm!

Well we had fun last night!

Despite flooded roads and heavy traffic, eight of our Casserole members made it to East Surrey College for a class on Indian Cooking to Share. We’ve had the idea to run a cookery class for our members for quite a while, so we were so excited to finally get the opportunity to bring some of our community together to do a bit of what they do best – cook!

Our menu was one of Indian curries made completely from scratch – no curry paste here! After a quick introduction, we got to work on our Chicken Curry and Potato and Pea Bhaji. The room quickly filled with the clattering of pans, smells of fried onions, cumin, chilli and ginger. The reason we chose to do a class on curries is not only that it’s something most people might not know how to make from scratch at home, but it’s an ideal dish to share with others!

One of the most wonderful things about bringing people together in a kitchen, especially in a situation like a cooking class, is that strangers become fast friends. Within minutes of getting started, we heard laughter and banter between Casserole members as though they were old chums – once again, we saw food creating a glorious bridge between people and breaking down those barriers that might make getting to know someone a challenge.

Murtz and I spend a lot of time seeing people’s names on the website, reading their emails and hearing their voices on the phone, but nothing beats meeting them in person. Getting the opportunity to hear people’s stories, find out why their signed up and what they hope to get out of the service, and see them bonding with other members straight away is so invaluable to us, and makes all the hard work very well worth it.

In no time, our collection of ingredients were transformed into some top notch dishes that would give any curry house a run for it’s money! There were no kitchen disasters (although I *may* have overdone it with the chilli…) and everyone’s food looked absolutely delicious!

This first cooking class was a bit of a test run to see if people would actually be interested in attending, find out if it was a good way to get feedback from members, and help get members together to meet and make connections beyond the people they cook for – we’re chuffed to say all of the above seemed to work! After the fun of last night, we’ll definitely be looking to do many more of these, particularly as part of the thank you rewards that will be part of our new Plates feature.

Thanks to all the Casserole members who came along last night – it was an absolute pleasure to put faces to names and hear your enthusiasm for the service. We look forward to many more shared meals to come!

Now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my curry 😉

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