This guest post was written by Claire Fuller.
I recently realised how much I was missing those eedy beedy blink-and-you-miss-them don’t-need-to-even-think-about-it social interactions that come from living in a pandemic-free small town. I was missing the little chats at the school gate, in the grocery store, and in the streets around town. Not having had the chance to linger at the farmers market, no neighbours sharing a meal round our table, no hanging out with pals after a bike ride or meeting up at a local restaurant. With no plans for a Bike Club social, no work Christmas parties, no school concerts, no plans to travel, and having attending no Cornucopia nights, this was beginning to poke me in the ribs. I put a quick question on my facebook timeline “Who will join me for a Sunday afternoon zoom Christmas cake making mulled wine sipping socially distanced catchup? Maybe next weekend…. I can send out ingredient list and recipe in advance and then we would have to get ourselves ready in advance”. 170 comments later it looked like it was a good idea.
The following weekend about 16 of us were at our computers, at the ready with cake ingredients – or fresh chickens, or glass of wine, or spin bike (anything goes in this Zoom catchup). With a shared aspiration of seeing friendly faces and enjoying some time and fun. Despite my worries it would be a confusing mash up of disjointed voices from the ether, and glitchy technical connections, it turned out to be a wonderful, heartwarming, sharing circle. Something about busying in the kitchen and having something to do took the pressure off any need to ‘perform’ for the chat. It was instantly informal, dropping in and out of a conversation which flowed through little insights of someone’s day to the details of a tradition from a faraway culture. I came away with a feeling of being hugged, as if I had sat round the stovetop with all these lovely people and contributed to something more than the slightly charred fruit cake I took out the oven 2 hours later.
I later wondered, how many other people might be needing this little easy joyful connection? Who else might be missing those incidental chats which help fill the heart and spark some joy? What would it look like to start a cooking and sharing circle open to the community; an online pop-up to participate in a shared experience of preparing a meal or a treat. A laid back 2-hour loosely-guided cooking experience on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Nourishing the soul and the feeding the body.
What do you think?
Would you like to share a special recipe or join in a kitchen social?
Would you enjoy finding out a little about your neighbour’s culture or how someone’s day went or a funny memory from someone’s childhood?
If you think this is just the sort of easy social that would warm more than last night’s soup please join me on Sunday 6th December at 3.30pm, on Zoom, from your kitchen at https://rccbc.zoom.us/j/95791582870. [Note! This link is updated, as of Dec 1. Meeting ID: 957 9158 2870. Passcode: 018469]
THE KITCHEN SOCIAL – EVENT DETAILS
The Kitchen Social, a Pemberton based online Zoom Event, pandemic stress reliever and place to connect. Open to the public. Sunday 6th December at 3.30pm. No need to sign up just join the event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/585955312207363/
By joining the event you are agreeing to the protocols as posted below.
I am delighted to share that Tanina Williams will be part of this event. I have been heartened and inspired by the work Tanina does in our schools and communities; sharing knowledge and asking questions that get to the root of our sense of self, the value of community and the route to reconciliation through Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Tanina’s laughter and strength of character is contagious and she is a a joy to spend time with.
This Sunday I will be cooking something from my childhood and the culture I grew up in – Beef Curry! Don’t be intimidated, this is a really simple and affordable meal which is a great Sunday cosy dinner and can be cooked in bulk and frozen for more dinners. It is perfect with locally raised beef and Pemby carrots. I will post variations for vegetarians. Also a disclaimer – I should be doing a Malaysian Beef Rendang to be authentically from my childhood but I have a Thai version which allows for lots of shortcuts and simplifying and less ingredients so I’m doing that instead! You are invited to follow along or do your own thing, or come in with your crafting or on your exercise bike or simply join with a cup tea or a glass of wine.
The Kitchen Social Protocols
We encourage all participants to embrace each other’s differences. This is a positive space to have fun and make easy connections with our community. As a sharing circle we encourage participants to talk about themselves. Please keep the details of conversations confidential outside of the circle. This is a space to lift each other up, come along with an open mind and an intention to have a relaxing and enjoyable couple of hours. Remember to use all the necessary precautions when cooking; please don’t set yourself on fire, as no-one is close enough to put you out! This is about connecting – please put your camera on and show your lovely face. This is also about hearing people. If you need to use the blender or play Mariah Carey’s Christmas at 10 decibels please press your mute button first. If you have any trouble logging on please write a message on the Facebook event page.