Food for thought

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A discussion about food and cooking led Cathy Grant of New Leaf to realize that food is something some of the men in the program struggled with or needed some guidance on.

After one of the men in the group shared his experience about not eating as well as he used to now that he is living on his own, Grant decided to take action.

She and some of the participants in the New Leaf program came up with the idea of putting together a cookbook to help men — including the men in the program — who enjoy cooking or who are looking to get a boost in the kitchen with some new recipes.

“We got some really great support from celebrities,” said Grant on Saturday during the launch of the cookbook, adding that the book includes recipes from country crooner George Canyon, hockey star Colin White, a few local chefs and even the musicians of The Stanfields.

Grant added that while some people are socialized to think that certain roles are left to certain genders, with this mindset cooking can often be left to the wayside for some men and is a skill they may not learn.

During a holiday sale at the Holiday Inn Express in Stellarton, New Leaf officially launched its cookbook and even had samples of some of their favourite recipes available to try.

Grant said the skills learned from the cookbook have been a great confidence booster and a way for men to bond with their children as well.

“They feel good being able to cook for them or their children,” she said. “This is just one more way they can develop and maintain a relationship with their children.”

The cookbook even includes a section on cooking for and with children as well as a little bit of everything else such as recipes for soups, appetizers, date night recipes, main courses, desserts and many more — all submitted by men.

“They are starting to feel supported by the community,” Grant said. “We all need help sometimes and simply talking about things sometimes can help.”

Cookbooks are available by contacting New Leaf at 902-396-2440.

Chef and culinary teacher Gilles Godin, left, and culinary student Chris Wilson were at the launch of the New Leaf cookbook to provide samples of recipes for people to try. Cathy Grant of New Leaf, right, tastes the avocado quesadilla as prepared by the chefs. (Brimicombe photo)

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