I remember when I was a kid, we would always take the long journey (at least it seemed at the time) to
my Grandparents’ house to spend the holidays. My grandmother would always cook a large family dinner for all of us including my aunts, uncles and cousins. There was always a scent of fresh baked bread throughout the house; I can still remember it to this day.
As the Holiday Season quickly approaches, you’re probably thinking about what kind of delicious food to make and share with your friends and family. Perhaps your grandparents passed down some holiday traditions and recipes that you can’t wait to use.
Thinking about my grandparents and family around the holidays makes me think of the seniors that are alone at this time of year. My heart goes out to the thousands of senior citizens that access a food bank every month; just this year alone there has been a 35% increase in usage of food banks among seniors*.
One of our largest Community Food Spaces, Bathurst-Finch, reflects the rise of seniors using food programs. Many seniors living in the Bathurst-Finch area do not have a family or friends to spend time with; many have emigrated from other countries. Sometimes they feel as though they have no one and nowhere to go.
Because of the support of community members like you, we are able to help these seniors by providing healthy meals and a sense of community. Bathurst-Finch runs a community kitchen program that is a great way for them to get together for companionship and bonding over the joy of food. The seniors reach out to one another to make sure that they are not alone and isolated, especially around the holidays. A wonderful program that shows kindness and inclusion to those that need it most.
As part of the Community Kitchen program, many of the seniors would share with each other recipes from their home country that they taught their children as they grew up. The community even recently put out a cookbook of most loved recipes!
The main goal of the Hot Pot Cookbook Project was to support socialization of seniors as well as learning from each other culturally. The name was inspired by a traditional way of cooking in Asia that gathers community members around a simmering “Hot Pot” to cook together. The cookbook really showcases the amazing people, culture and food found in the neighbourhood.
In the holiday spirit of sharing recipes through generations, I wanted to share with you some amazing dessert recipes from the Hot Pot Cookbook to enjoy with your loved ones for the holidays.
Make sure you let me know how your baking turns out!