It was our dear neighbors, John and Cleo Wester, Operation Feed  benefactors, that got me involved with the organization. Initially it was a  monthly contribution, but soon enough, each Thursday morning I’d be  helping out at the Despensa. 

Then the call came for volunteers to help restart cooking classes. “Why  not?” I asked myself, “It could be fun, and you’re fluent in Spanish - why not  share my cooking knowledge with the ladies in town and at the same time  learn from them?!” 

Although not a cook, I’ve a passion for cooking; having taken classes, and  watched endless hours of tv food shows; absorbing and learning new  techniques and recipes along the way. It helps having come from a long  line of excellent Cuban home cooks: my mother, aunts and a few uncles! 

Cooking classes are now held twice monthly, and feature an easy recipe  using items received in the participants’ weekly dispensary package. I really  enjoy preparing new recipes for them, and must consider the cost of the  ingredients and cooking method. You see, most households in town don’t  have ovens, presenting challenges in creating easy food prep for the  ladies.  

Slowly, through word-of-mouth, classes are gaining attention and  attendance. They’re fun, lively and informative. And, most important, the  Señoras of San Juan Cosalá learn to prepare basic items for their families  in tasty, new ways. The results have been gratifying and positive. 

So please consider contributing to the cooking fund. It would be wonderful  to be able to offer a drawing at the end of each class for much needed new  home cooking utensils. 

I look forward to continuing teaching because, putting it simply, they’re  teaching me!

 

A look at the past classes taught by Cheryl Kennedy 

Cheryl got rave reviews for her cooking classes.  She took on the task of designing recipes that used the despensa items, such as soy and oats, in new and tasty ways.  The extra ingredients needed for each recipe, such as chia seeds, could be easily and cheaply found right in San Juan Cosalá. The participants looked forward to each class and were able to make the dishes at home over the fire in one pot.  Cheryl was careful to recognize that the families do not have ovens and fancy equipment, so she orchestrated each lesson to be a one pot or one bowl recipe with little fuss but great taste.  How about Soy Sloppy Joes or overnight oatmeal or no bake peanut butter oatmeal cookies?  From the homes of Operation Feed families, the answer has been a resounding “YES!”