THEY’RE MUMS on a mission to bring home-cooked food back to Huddersfield.
Now, The Food Chain is calling on people to roll up their sleeves in Lindley – thanks to a £3,000 grant from Kirklees Council.
The four-strong group of volunteers are setting up free cook and eat classes to teach people how to make healthy and nutritious family meals on a budget.
The mums – who all met at a toddler group – are hoping to share their culinary skills with others to encourage people to get back into the kitchen.
Mum-of-one Suzanne Wright came up with idea after being inspired by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s recipe sharing scheme Pass It On.
Suzanne, 48, of Oakes, said: “I wanted to extend the idea so we are not just passing recipes onto friends.
“I do know a lot of people find they don't have the time or energy to cook so they end up buying ready meals or takeaways.
“People are losing the skills of cooking and their children are missing out.
“We’re all mums with children and know how hard it can be to get young children eating fruit and vegetables.
“We want to share our recipes with people and also offer them tips about how to incorporate fruit and vegetables into their meals.
“It is not about cordon bleu cookery or being judgemental.
“It is about good old fashioned home cooking.”
The group has been given funding to run a total of 15 sessions between October 2009 and July 2010.
The first series of five sessions will be held at Lindley Methodist Church Centre on East Street starting on Friday October 2.
The two-hour classes will take place every Friday from 10am to 12noon.
All ingredients will be provided free of charge and up to ten people can take part in each session.
Sausage and lentil casserole will be among the tasty dishes being served up at the first session, followed by carrot and coriander soup.
The sessions will also teach people how to bake muffins, cakes and puddings.
Suzanne added: “With the credit crunch, people are watching the pennies more. We want to show them that if you eat pulses, you can pad out your meals and eek out some meat.
“All the meals are quick and easy to make and while they’re cooking, we’ll also be doing a supplementary dish such as a soup or pudding.”
Sessions are going to be run in other parts of Huddersfield early next year.
The group also hopes to encourage the community to get involved with the project by sharing their skills.
Anyone who can help or wants to take part in the classes can call Suzanne on 07810 113514 or email email@example.com.
Smoky sausage and lentil casserole
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced
A carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp Spanish smoked paprika
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
250g green lentils
500ml vegetable stock
Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole or saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sausages in two batches and cook for 5 minutes, turning often until cooked and brown all over. Remove from casserole and set aside.
Add the garlic, leek and carrot to the casserole and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, paprika, thyme, lentils and stock and return the sausages to the pan.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are soft and the sauce has thickened slightly. Add more water if necessary to prevent sticking.
Serve with mashed potato, or any mixture of mashed root vegetables such as carrot, potato, parsnip, swede or celeriac.