Suanne and I started blogging over 5 years ago. It was our Hello World post above (link here) that started our accidental journey into the world of food. As I sit here, I am just amazed how food had played a big part in our lives.
When we landed in Canada, Suanne doesn’t know how to cook. She lived a privileged life where mummy and our maid does all the cooking. I remember the very first meal that Suanne cooked in Canada. Faced with unfamiliar stoves and different ingredients, she made her first family meal just after four days we were here. Yeah, the food was really terrible. I lied and told her it was OK. And she burst into tears! You see, I blinked when I said that.
Looking at her today, she is pretty good and knowledgeable with cooking and food. She even put together a cookbook called Diversely Delicious (link here) just a few months ago.
Trust me when I said I … didn’t care much about food before chowtimes started. Back then I would just be happy going to the same restaurants every time. But this blog had changed my view of the culinary world. The more we wrote about food, the more we wanted to find out about it.
More about us in the following article in the Vancouver Sun by Mia Stainsby.
Suanne is an active member of the Richmond Community Kitchen since 2006.
What is a community kitchen? On the surface, it seems straightforward: a group of people gather to cook and share meals. But as those who have experienced a kitchen first-hand will attest, their value extends far beyond the kitchen table.
Various cultures have cooked communally since the earliest ages. But the contemporary community kitchen has its roots in Peru, created during a recession in the late 1970s. When many Peruvians suffered from poverty and malnutrition, groups of women began cooking for their communities. Each member brought what ingredients they had at hand at home to cook a meal together, which resulted in more food for everyone to share. They called this solution “Ollas Commun,” or “common pot.”
This idea spread to Canada via Montreal in the 1980s, and then moved westward to British Columbia. Richmond’s first community kitchen began in 1998, after a group of women advocated to start a community kitchen program through Family Services of Greater Vancouver.
Today, Family Services of Greater Vancouver sponsors more than 15 community kitchens in Richmond, BC, providing community, food security, and resources to new immigrants, seniors, youth, and single mothers. Each group meets regularly to cook, either eating together or taking food home to their families. Groups partner with local churches and community centres for kitchen space, and like the original Peruvian kitchens, they share labour and the cost of ingredients.
By cooking together, community kitchen members are nourished by more than just food. Their shared experience in the kitchen creates leadership, opportunities for cultural engagement, expanding knowledge of nutrition and health, and most importantly, meaningful relationships that are the foundation of social change.
Diversely Delicious Cookbook
The Diversely Delicious cookbook is compiled by Suanne and based largely on the recipes of the Richmond Community Kitchen in 2009.
The two main persons behind the Richmond Community Kitchens are Minoo and Charlene. The cookbook also includes some of Suanne’s own recipes and also recipes from the Canning Workshop ran by Karen Dar Woon.
The Diversely Delicious cookbook contains over 150 recipes from all over the world … including Greek, Indian, Peruvian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Spanish to name a few. It also includes a comprehensive section on canning techniques.
The recipe in the cookbook are easy to make and is something that everyone can attempt at home.
A copy of the Diversely Delicious cookbook is in the catalogue of the Richmond Public Library for circulation. You can search by keyword ‘Richmond Community Kitchen’.
Every now and then, we do get samples and freebies from companies seeking to promote their products. We also get invites from restaurants too. While we are selective on accepting such offers, we do accept them.
We made a very conscious decision to prominently tag all samples, freebies and invited posts with an impossible to miss disclosure statement. This is to make sure that our readers are fully aware of the nature of the post even before the first word of the post is read.
We had even created a special link so that you can get a glance of ALL such post using this link (http://chowtimes/tag/disclosures).
Publication: Vancouver Sun
Date: Friday, November 5th, 2010
Publication: EAT magazine
Issue: March/April 2010
Publication: Welcome to Richmond
Issue: December 2009
Publication: The Richmond Review
Issue: Saturday, November 29th, 2008
Publication: The Richmond Review
Issue: Thursday, October 30th, 2008
Publication: The Georgia Straight
Issue: Thursday, January 4th, 2007
Here is the excerpt from the article:
“By far the most engaging is one I?ve been lurking on for the past year. I?m not alone. People in 127 other countries have logged on to www.chowtimes.com/ to see what this Richmond family has been cooking and eating. New Canadians from Southeast Asia, they?re a cool antidote to Vancouver?s feverish mainstream-restaurant scene. Read the archives and you?ll learn the location of Vietnamese subs close to the airport, share trips to Singapore and Malaysia, find out about secret blackberry patches, collect recipes galore (clear instructions and terrific step-by-step photography), and ?eat? at scads of small, mostly Asian places that you might otherwise never have known about. There?s a big world of on-line dining out there, so in ?07, resolve to broaden yours beyond Kits and the Drive.”