This Fall, we met Carie Ritz, a participant at the Acord Food Pantry Cooking Matters for Parents class held at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA. We asked Carie to share her challenges in providing healthy meals for her family and her experiences with Cooking Matters. Here is her response:
"I am so thankful for the Cooking Matters cooking class I had the pleasure of participating in at Appleton Farms this fall. Frankly, I've never been a good cook, or a healthy eater. My parents have owned a restaurant since I was a little girl so you would think that would have made me into a world renowned chef. The only problem is, I wasn't allowed in the kitchen. Cooking Matters gave me the chance to learn some basic cooking skills, like how to chop mushrooms and mince garlic. May sound simple, but I had always taken the lazy route and bought things pre-cut or pre-sliced, which turns out to be more expensive. Being the wife of a seminary student and the mother of two little boys, I am so thankful that Cooking Matters taught us how to cook on a budget. I also learned some great recipes that were quick to prep. Let's be honest, two little boys equals too little time in the kitchen, but I learned how to make meals that were relatively fast and easy, even for me. My two year old son, who lives on chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, absolutely loved the baked flaked chicken that we made in class. I’ve made them again at home. What a great way to trade a prepackaged and processed food for a self-made and healthier option. Another favorite from class was the turkey chili recipe. I have made it twice over the past few weeks. Cooking Matters empowered me to put extra veggies in everything! My family NEEDS more vegetables. Sweet potatoes in chili? Carrots in muffins? Kale in a smoothie? I would have never done these things before this class. My belly thanks you! My wallet thanks you! My family thanks you! And our health thanks you! "
We are so grateful for Carie's insight and thoughts and we are so excited to hear that class has had a positive impact on her family! Thank you, Carie!