I was delighted to welcome the brilliant Anne Marie Lambert as guest speaker at the Supper Club last week.
She had a wealth of information to share on growing your own, and explained how easy it is to grow nutritious sprouted beans. We were then all able to plant our own seeds to take home and nurture. Hopefully we will have all grown our own fresh tea (mint or chamomile) or some fresh salad to take to our own table when we harvest them later in the year.
The advice was as ever to start simply. One pot is always a good start, and there are plenty of things we can grow at home in a small pot or hanging basket. Anne Marie runs very popular cookery classes in the community and from her home kitchen. She is a strong promoter of cooking from scratch with real food, but feels that to eat healthier we should focus on adding foods to the diet rather than taking them out. Her concluding advice was to start small and maybe start by planting some interesting herbs to add to your salads.
We also touched on the importance of nature and how therapeutic gardening to be. I was therefore delighted that several members and volunteers of ‘Mental Health Together’s’, ‘pottering around’ gardening project were able to join us. I have recently started volunteering for this wonderful community group, but unfortunately days later, social distancing came in, so this will now be postponed for a while. However, Karen Parkinson will be adapting to the situation by creating virtual versions of her important groups. As we are all encouraged to stay home more, perhaps gardening could provide us all an essential dose of nature, relaxation, and gentle movement.
However, what always inspires me at each Supper Club are the stories that people share around the table as we sit and eat our supper together, and it would be difficult to find anyone more inspiring than Anne Marie Lambert. I think she was a little overwhelmed when I introduced her but I feel it is important to celebrate all the things she has done in the community.
I first met Anne Marie when I volunteered at the Helping Hands gateway café in Warwick. The amount she does in the community is really inspiring. She has made soup for the soup kitchen every week for about 5 years, and when I was at the café she would pop in on her way to work to throw together a batch of scones on route! She has got people cooking at numerous fundraising events in the community, she has written a book aimed at helping people use food from the food bank, and she has led numerous initiatives in the community helping lower income families, and helping people cook from scratch and minimise food waste. She is a true legend in my eyes.
What I didn’t know about her was what an entertaining story teller she would be. She took us all on a trip down memory lane, sharing stories of her early cooking experiences in Hotels in Yorkshire, her motivation to keep on working at the age of 16 (a ‘bon Jovi esque’ leather jacket at a local market), and her motivations for all the work she does in the community. ‘I know what it is like to feel hungry.’ she shared simply.
She is a truly wonderful human being as far as I am concerned, and I am so grateful she took the time to share her knowledge and stories at the supper club. Please click on the link to visit her website for more information and share with anyone who wants to learn to cook. Get Cooking!
I have said it before but one of the best things to come out of the supper club is this opportunity to hear people telling their stories. I have learnt so much from the speakers and the guests at the supper club. I have also learnt a lot from the various people I have met through volunteering. Through volunteering you often get to meet people you probably wouldn’t have met in your usual day to day circles and they often have a lot of wisdom and experience to share. I was already contemplating a’ Telling stories’ version of the supper club but with the current situation would like to create a podcast version. I think it would be a brilliant way to learn from and connect all those isolated people at home who have so much to share. Please get in touch if you know anyone who might like to share their stories or would like to hear from and connect with others who are isolated at home. Its a surreal new world for a while but lets use technology to learn and connect. People are amazing and can teach us so much…