26 August 2011

New community programme: Social adVentures

Kim from Islington Mill Cafe kicked off our new collaborative six-week programme with Social adVentures based at the Angel Centre in Salford on Thursday 18 August, then ran a second session at the Angel Cafe a week later on 25 August. Kim's first session, one of the local estates, involved cooking up a stirfry outside. This spectacle never fails to impress and everything got off to a great start.

Social adVentures is an exciting social enterprise jointly owned by service users, employees and local Salford people. Social adVentures aims to support all local people to lead happier and healthier lives; they define happiness as enjoyment of a full and meaningful life and health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. Social adVentures has three centres - the Angel Centre, The Creative Media Centre and Garden Need - all of which provide a massive range of activities, courses and events all year round.

Cracking Good Food are collaborating with Social adVentures, who are preparing to run a social prescribing scheme to get people into activities to improve their health and happiness. People attending would be referred from their GP, Social Prescribing Navigator or by self-referral. Our healthy cookery sessions with Social adVentures aim to bring positive change to the local community.

Cracking Cook Kim Irwin will be running these weekly courses with members of the local community for the next four weeks. For more information see the Social adVentures website or contact simone@socialadventures.org.uk.

15 August 2011

GUEST BLOG: Curry favour

By guest blogger TRACEY TORLEY

We had a really enjoyable outdoor cooking session at the Lost Plot allotment this Saturday. The children who attended were already familiar with some of the more exotic vegetables we were using, but they still lapped up the opportunity to pick their own vegetables from the plot. They really enjoyed seeing and smelling how some of the beautiful aromatic herbs and spices were used to create a delicious, colourful and healthy curry dish (above). Mums were on hand to help chop, peel and stir, and there was some great team spirit! Jobs done, we all sat in the sun and savoured the wonderful food!

2 August 2011

GUEST BLOG: Great bakes

By guest blogger NICOLA CLANCY

On Saturday 30 July, I volunteered for my first event with Cracking Good Food and was happy to help out with a community event for Southway Housing at one of their properties, Buckthorn House.

The event was coordinated by nutritionist Elizabeth Wells who seemed to have everything very organised and ensured that all policies and procedures (such as health and safety and food hygiene) were understood and adhered to. Sarah who was cooking on the day seemed very knowledgeable about the community and confident in her skills, and encouraged the people taking part to be confident in their cooking. Sarah was also very informative about the costings of the meal and about the food she was cooking with to make the tasty Aubergine Cheesy Bake.

It was nice to hear that the produce she and associates had grown on Action for Sustainable Living's nearby community allotment The Lost Plot were being used within the meal. We all had a chance to taste the various ingredients as we went along. The gorgeous weather meant the group was quite small, but the people who did attend were genuinely interested in the cooking and ingredients and there was a good mix of young and older people.