Let’s Cook! is a brand new venture being brought to the people of Galway by celebrity chef Stuart O’Keefe and is a program of free cookery courses designed to help those with Arthritis indulge in a passion they once enjoyed but now find difficult to do.
The initiative was the brainchild of Arthritis Ireland, who developed the course based on results from a healthy eating survey carried out amongst its members to see what troubled them the most about getting the right food inside them when it comes to tackling the kitchen. Relief from the pain of Arthritis is aided by quality nutrition; the problem is that, following the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, cooking fresh meals three times a day is not just a chore but a nightmare. Oh, yes – I know. (did I sound like Eric Burden, then?)
Abbott, the healthcare company, have also got involved with the cookery course, which will take place in the form of free work shops. With so much input, this particular venture will not be all about the cooking, which is what the participants of the survey suggest they need as more than a third (35%) often opted for off-the-shelf ready meals.
Further studies have shown that three quarters of those suffering with arthritis, especially when the weather’s a touch on the damp side (when isn’t it in the British Isles?) and joints become inflamed and swollen, find that just the act of cooking – let alone going to the extent of getting out to fetch the fresh ingredients daily – is a painful trial. Indeed, more than half (54%) say that regular cooking is just a no-no.
So as well as bespoke recipes prepared for the cookery course attendees, there will also be lessons in what foods can best deliver the nutrients a body needs to perform at its optimum, even with chronic conditions such as arthritis. There will also be demonstrations and instruction in the range of utensils available to sufferers to make the kitchen experience a lot more pleasant.
Science has helped develop nifty little gadgets to transfer the weight of heavy pots and pans, took the labour out of opening tins and can literally do the cutting, chopping and dicing of fresh meat and vegetables without putting unnecessary strain on those joints that ache like billy-oh when asked to do too much. Many such products will be incorporated in the cookery classes, the first of which will be on Monday 21st May at The Carlton on the Dublin Road, Galway.
I wonder if Ryan Air have got any cheap return flights – it’s a free cookery course and my nan was from Waterford…