Volunteer Cooking, My Little Get Away
Jan. 12, 2011 7:40 am
Updated: Jan. 16, 2011 9:48 am
The Prince Albert Youth Center, known affectionately to staff and youth alike as the
, is my little cooking get away. The YAC and I have a bit of a history. When the center opened many years ago my aunt was one of the outreach workers and I was in my early teens.
I often hung out there after school and sometimes attended dances and other events. When I was 16 I met my husband at the annual Valentine's dance. He was 18 and a junior staff at the time. He asked my aunt about me for over six months and finally when I was
17 I went out for coffee with him, within a week we were dating, within two months we had moved in together and decided that we would one day be married. My husband is now an outreach worker at the center and I myself ran a year long girl's healthy eating
and activity program three days a week. I am now a busy SAHM but I still go to the YAC.
At least once a month my very patient sister-in-law babysits my four children so that I can cook at the YAC. Volunteering there is never a chore, the staff is like a second family to my husband and I as many of them have witnessed us growing up and been
a part of our lives. The youth are always very appreciative of my cooking and there are often one or two of them helping me cook or just hanging out in the kitchen talking with me and sneaking tastes of whatever it is that I'm making that month. Giving back
to an organization that has given me so much is a joy.
This month I made comfort food, chicken and dumpling soup and improvised garlic parmesan rolls. I arrived earlier than usual so I whipped up a batch of
chocolate chip peppermint cookies
to serve during the afternoon. At the end of the night there was not a drop of soup left and all of the rolls had somehow disappeared. I received many wonderful compliments on my cooking and left with that warm feeling
that I had made a difference. What makes you feel that way?
The youth come back to volunteer and visit when they become adults, and they bring their children.
Shirley and Jodi Serving up chicken dumpling soup at the YAC
Thrown together Garlic Parmesan rolls