Holding a spoon handle with her lips, Mary Gidney demonstrates how to cut an onion and not cry.
“You have to breathe through your mouth when you have a spoon in your mouth,” Gidney said.
Gidney guides a room full of Metchosin seniors through recipes they will be preparing at the Metchosin Community House as part of a new program.
“Community kitchens are for everyone, not just seniors, it’s a good way to get meals without having to do all the work,” Gidney says. The retired home economics teacher of 27 years, taught at Dunsmuir middle school and Belmont secondary school.
“I am retired and that is why I smile a lot,” Gidney says.
She leads 11 seniors working together to cook vegetarian lasagna, sausage bean soup and turkey pot pie. Participants paid $25 to cover the cost of food and take home four servings of each meal.
After a short demonstration the seniors divide into teams and each tackles a recipe.
“Sometimes you don’t feel bothered to cook a full meal,” says Metchosin senior Joyce Edwards. “The veggie lasagna sounds good and you can’t ever tell there isn’t meat in it.”
It’s a diverse group some with hearing and sight impairments.
Aside from cooking instructions, Gidney also covers food safety guidelines and hand-washing, tying long hair back, wearing aprons and sick people not cooking.
“Mary is an excellent teacher and she is good at teaching us to make quick nutritious meals,” says Metchosin senior Wendy Ramsay.
This community kitchen was hosted by the Metchosin Seniors Information Resource Centre. Visit www.metchosincommunityhouse.com for ongoing seniors programs.