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Senior-led cooking class comes to Kingston this week

In partnership with Metro, Seniors Kingston will be hosting a free cooking class this week led by one of the association's volunteers.

The "Feed the Joy" cooking classes are taking place in Toronto, Ottawa and Kingston this week, sponsored by the Metro grocery brand and led by seniors and community organizations.

The classes are open to people of all age groups, but are targeted towards millennials and younger generations who may be beginning to host Christmas celebrations of their own for the first time.

In a release Metro says that research shows basic cooking know-how is the worst among younger generations, with the classes acting as an opportunity for a local senior to pass along cooking knowledge they've accrued themselves.

In Kingston that will be 70 year old Helga Bellmore, who has been leading cooking classes with Seniors Kingston since 2022, initially signing up to just be a student herself before the class suddenly needed an instructor.

She often tailors her classes to meals for one, two, or small groups of people as she noticed most recipes tend to prepare dishes for large groups of people.

Bellmore said getting involved in cooking classes has allowed her to get more involved in the community and try a lot of new things, and that cooking and food in general provides an opportunity for connection with people.

"What I was able to do in getting involved in some of their cooking horizons was broaden my horizons," Bellmore said.

"Food is all about getting together with your ingredients, whatever you happen to have around, and getting them together in a way that you can enjoy them and that you can enjoy them with others."

Bellmore says becoming more adventurous and practiced with cooking has been extremely rewarding, and she enjoys being able to pass along skills and help others experience that as well.

She says it's a really rewarding skill for people to try to learn and improve on.

"It doesn't matter that you didn't write the recipe or you found the recipe somewhere else or somebody passed the recipe down to you," Bellmore said.

"When you make it yourself, you make it your own."

Bellmore says her biggest inspirations and sources of knowledge when it comes to the kitchen are her mother and grandmother, and making recipes they themselves used to always brings back fond memories.

At the class on December 13, Bellmore will be teaching participants how to make a German-inspired sausage and cranberry stuffed turkey breast with braised red cabbage and sticky toffee bundt cake.

Spots including all ingredients are free at the class, but are limited.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, YGK News