Cooking at the Shoppe….

Cooking at the Shoppe….

Something was different when I walked into the shoppe the other day.  As usual it smelled delightful, but not the typical blend of candle fragrances: instead, the homey aroma of lunch being prepared greeted me.

You see, we have a new volunteer, Joanne, another retired teacher, who knew several of our chandlers from over a decade ago.  She had been their culinary arts teacher at Atlantic Vocational Technical Center, so it was a unanimous decision that cooking be added to the ScentsAbility curriculum..

First on the menu was chicken salad. The chefs-in-training were instructed in the basics of sanitation, using aprons and gloves, and then they all pitched in to shred a rotisserie chicken.  They reinforced skills such as following a recipe, measuring ingredients, chopping, slicing and mixing.  The result: a delicious plate of chicken salad on pita.

Lexy washes lettuce to be topped with tuna salad or used in the sandwiches.

Next on the menu was tuna salad.  I watched Shaun and Kim mastering knife techniques as they chopped celery while Lexy washed the rest of the ingredients.  Soon a delightful plate of tuna salad topped with an ornamental tomato became lunch for some, while a few others took their plates home for dinner.

Yesterday the chandlers made individual pizzas while Jessica sang her impromptu song of “We’re cooking at the shoppe,” and others were anxiously discussing possibilities for future meals.

Drew tops his personal pizza.

Obviously our main activities revolve around creating our scent products, but food prep has become a welcome diversion. Clearly the main advantage of this new activity is learning useful skills on their journeys to independence, but for now it also provides the camaraderie of preparing a wonderful lunch together and sharing food they have prepared themselves.

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