19 December 2009

Cracking Christmas, December 2009

Hats off to all those who braved the cold to take part in our Christmas dinner cooking workshop at Chorlton High School on Thursday 17 December. Cracking Good Food had heard that the supermarket ingredients that go into an average Christmas dinner travel a combined distance of over 49,000 miles before they even get to our plates, so we challenged Nina to find an alternative that wouldn't cost the earth. Nina's 5-8pm session (co-hosted by Action for Sustainable Living as part of their I'm Dreaming Of A Green Christmas campaign) aimed to show how easy it is to create a delicious festive feast on a budget, avoiding unnecessary airmiles by using locally sourced ingredients and cutting back on excess waste with top tips on using up leftovers.

After first shedding their own layers, the group was straight into peeling parsnips, stripping sprouts off their stalks and rinsing the soil from the "dirty" carrots (here's one of the participants, Bernard, looking on eagerly!), and it wasn't long before the kitchen began to fill with some lovely roasting smells. The apple gluhwein soon warmed everyone up and there was a great atmosphere as we all sat around the big table together, chatting and tucking into the tasty dishes that never seemed to stop coming from the oven. It might not have been Christmas Day, but the party spirit was definitely in abundance and everyone was sorry when it was time to leave – although when they did, they had plenty of new ideas and a good bundle of recipe sheets to try out at home!

26 October 2009

Cooks On The Hop, October 2009

Despite it being a cold and windy October day, plenty of people gathered round to watch (and help!) us erect our gazebo in Darley Avenue. Laughing at the oddness of the activity, we battled on and eventually managed to perfect a sheltered cooking spot for our first attempt at Cooks On The Hop, when Cracking Good Food goes out and about into the local community to put on a cooking demo.

Seeing Kim throwing matchstick-thin carrots and leeks into a wok sizzling with hot chilli paste, passers-by were at our side like a shot eager to try some out. Pleased at how good veggie food was, even the teenage lads on bikes helped out with the chopping so they could have seconds.

The buzz of chatter and smells in the air encouraged more and more people to stop by, and soon stories were being swapped about favourite food. Some nice ladies even nipped back home to rustle up dishes to add to the table, including a fantastic coleslaw! It was almost like a proper old-fashioned street party – all that was missing was the music! Everyone enjoyed themselves so much, we promised to return to repeat it, and we will...