A master class in making life easier
Sometimes when life is hard, it can be good to spend time with people who make things look easy.
In April, 18 Auckland family carers and parents were treated to a cooking demonstrated hosted by chef Peter Gordon at his Homeland restaurant and cookery school in Westhaven, Auckland.
The event was arranged by IHC Auckland Family/Whānau Liaison Anna Wong to give those caring for family members with intellectual disabilities some time out.
The Family/Whānau Liaison team holds two carer wellness events a year in each of our regions. Anna says carers and parents like to try new things but often don’t have the time or energy to organise anything. “So, it was nice to just turn up and have a fun activity organised for them.”
The day started with coffee and tea, and scones straight out of the oven, then it was all action for the next four hours.
“We prepared and cooked lamb stew, kumara miso mash, pavlova, (using Peter’s Mum’s recipe) and feijoa pudding.”
Peter would demonstrate and then each table would have a go. The cooking was made easy with Homeland staff measuring all the ingredients and, best of all, no one had to do any dishes. The staff whisked away all the dirty utensils, pots and crockery.
Once the work was done, the participants got to sample the food.
Peter Gordon was based in the United Kingdom for 31 years and ran a series of successful restaurants before returning to New Zealand in March 2020 – just before the first lockdown. He created Homeland with his partner Alastair Carruthers in November 2020.
Homeland, where possible, uses ingredients sourced locally or from the Pacific Islands. Peter believes creating delicious meals with seasonal vegetables will help combat the increasing prices of food, especially as the cost of protein becomes more expensive.
“Peter told us how much he enjoyed sharing his love of food with different community groups,” Anna says.
The community days are sponsored by Beef & Lamb NZ, and the lamb for this event was donated by Carve Meat Co.The rest of the ingredients are sponsored by Homeland and there is no fee for the community groups.
Anna says Peter shared his story of how IHC helped to support his family. His Aunty Mary had lived in an IHC home for a number of years so was delighted to have us bake his Mum’s pav recipe, in memory of her.
When Peter’s paternal grandfather, William, passed away his grandmother, Mollie, decided to acclimatise Mary to IHC care. As a young person Mary had attended school for a period, then Wellington Aftercare as a teenager and younger adult. Mary initially lived at Kristina in Silverstream, then in various supervised flatting situations in Silverstream and Upper Hutt. Mary eventually lived at Clouston with flatmates who were firm friends.
While at Clouston, and until her death, Mary was supported by her caregiver Narja Macintyre. Over the years Narja escorted Mary to many family functions and the Gordon whānau considered her an honorary whānau member. They say they are forever grateful to Narja.
The family says that throughout Mary’s IHC experience her interests were applauded and accommodated – crafts,knitting, embroidery, playing cards and board games. The IHC programme was wide and varied, and Mary experienced some wonderful trips and events, and lived a full and varied life.
Caption: A day out in the Homeland kitchen was a chance to relax, enjoy good food and learn from master chef Peter Gordon.
This story was published in Strong Voices. The magazine is posted free to all IHC members.
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