Senior Connections Senior Connections Aug. 2018 - Page 13

Cooking classes starting in August for those 55 and older Friends in the Kitchen: eat healthy, save money JAN ENGELHARDT Correspondent Looking for ways to cook and eat healthy without spending a lot of money? Have arthritis, mobility limitations or dietary restrictions made cooking un- appealing or diffi cult? Have your meals evolved into a boring string of frozen pizza or TV dinners? These are the concerns that a new program, Friends in the Kitchen, wants to answer for area residents, 55 and older. Beginning Thursday, Aug. 9, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., and continuing the second Thursday afternoon of every month, Friends in the Kitchen will offer free cooking classes at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winsted. The classes are designed to help seniors learn to create healthy, affordable, easy-to-make meals in a fun, relaxed setting. Winsted residents, Jim and Evelyn Fowler are co- ordinating the program. Evelyn will be leading the classes, and hopes to attract participants from the Winsted, Howard Lake, Lester Prairie, and Waverly communities. The local classes are an expansion of the Friends in the Kitchen program begun in 2017 in St. Peter and Bemidji by Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Minnesota. Locally, LSS is providing organization, direction, and leadership, but no funding. Jim noted Winsted is “the smallest program LSS has looked at starting, but we are probably having one of the easier start-ups. There has been good buy- in from three different sponsors,” including Winsted American Legion Post 407, the Winsted Lions Club, and St. John’s Lutheran Church, all of which provide fi nancial support. Upon proposing the idea to community organiza- tions, the program was “readily accepted, very quick- ly supported,” the Fowlers said. “That is telling of the community. It has been very rewarding to hear, ‘That is a good idea; that is a need.’” What is included Each class will feature three recipes: an entrée, a side dish, and a dessert. Dishes will be created from affordable ingredients readily available in local gro- cery stores. The emphasis, according to Evelyn, is on delicious, nutritious, “one-pot meals tailored to ap- peal to local palates.” Recipes feature dishes that are simple to prepare, and that maintain their quality if reheated as left- overs. In addition to the demonstrations and sampling of dishes, attendees receive copies of the recipes at each session, shopping tips, advice for adjusting portions or suggestions for adapting recipes to meet special Senior Site coordinators Evelyn and Jim Fowler will lead a se- ries of cooking classes called Friends in the Kitchen for people age 55 and older starting in August. SUBMITTED PHOTO Friends in the Kitchen • Who? Open to area residents age 55 and older. • What? Free, non-intimidating cooking classes hosted by Evelyn and Jim Fowler. • Where? St. John’s Lutheran Church, 410 First St. N., Winsted. • When? The third Thursday each month starting Thursday, Aug. 9. dietary needs, such as gluten-free, low carbohydrate, or low sodium. “For example,” said Evelyn, “I’ve seen rice in dif- ferent forms in dishes: white rice, brown rice, wild rice, to vary the carbohydrates. Or alternatives that people have only begun to hear about recently. Barley fi ts in there or quinoa. These are other possibilities to substitute.” Evelyn promises that Friends in the Kitchen is “non-intimidating cooking,” open to cooks of all skill levels. “I really want those who have not done much cooking, or who were not the primary cook in the household, so they may not have developed those skills,” she said. She also hopes to recruit “individuals, who may have never really enjoyed cooking, only put up with it,” in order to help them discover that cooking can be easy and fun. Classes will offer opportunities to make new friends, learn new skills, or refresh existing ones in a welcoming atmosphere. The classes are free of charge with no obligation. “There is no hook. People don’t need to worry about being solicited for any other reason. There’s no mail- ing list that they’re going to land on; it is purely there More COOKING CLASSES on Pg 14 Connec tions August 2018 13