Cooking, it is More than Food, it is Bonding!

“You plant the seed, you may not see the bloom, but you helped plant that seed for their future.” – Laverne

Laverne has been an essential part of Quint since it was created. She is a founding board member of Quint, and one of the reasons the organization has the pulse and impact it does today.

As a lifelong resident of Pleasant Hill and many years of community organizing in the core neighbourhoods,  Laverne’s leadership was an instrumental part of the vision that led to the formation of Quint. As a member of the founding Board, Laverne helped ensure that the foundation of Quint was solid with a clear strategic plan and policies that have shaped the organization as it developed in the early years.

At Pleasant Hill Place (PHP), our supportive transitional home for mothers and children, cooking is a very social activity…and it’s fun!

Cooking is used as an opportunity for staff to teach residents a new life skill, that naturally turns into an opportunity to bond. Often the PHP kitchen is filled with so much laughter it is easy to engage in conversation and build relationships.

PHP staff put a lot of emphasis on cooking because they know that when a resident moves out, typically they will be on social assistance and that they will need to be able to create nutritious meals with a limited budget. The ability for individuals to provide their family with healthy, delicious meals that are affordable is a skill that is learned, people are not born with it.

What is equally important to cooking, is enjoying
the prepared meal together. Conversation and
laughter are encouraged around the kitchen table
so that residents know it is a safe place that they
can come together daily.

Make it at home!

PHP staff member Christie, is known for her amazing baking skills and often bakes bread for the house. She has a way with bread and dough that makes it turn from glue to puffy clouds of goodness!

Try out Christie’s Braided Bread!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 packet of yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg whisked for egg wash
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a bowl, add 1 cup warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix lightly with a fork to get all the yeast in the water and set aside for about 15 minutes. It should begin to foam up and you should see little bubbles.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, honey and 2 eggs and pour mixture into the yeast mixture.
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients (flour and salt) and add it to your wet ingredients 1 cup at a time. Continue to mix until everything is incorporated. The dough should begin to pull away from the bowl and come to 1 large ball of dough.
  4. Turn the dough onto a very well-floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. You can use your finger to see if it’s ready. Press your finger in and if the dough bounces back quickly, it’s ready.
  5. In a large bowl, pour a bit of oil in and place your dough ball in the bowl. Turn it around so the entire dough is covered with a thin layer of oil. Cover with a clean towel and place bowl in a warm spot. Allow to rest and rise for 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
  6. When dough is ready, it should have doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide dough into 3 or 4 pieces (depending on what kind of braid you’d like), which will be your strands. Roll each strand into a long rope all of equal sizes.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place braided bread on a baking sheet. Brush the surface with egg. Allow to rest for another 30 minutes.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.

 

As the organization continued to grow, Laverne’s position evolved into the  Director of Operations but she continued to oversee and guide the affordable housing program. She is also one of our main social function organizers ensuring that we maintain a strong and cohesive staff team/family, something that she prides herself on. She has worked hard to make sure staff feel included, heard and part of the decision making process within the organization.

Laverne also played a large role in organizing Quint’s community events, what she calls “the fun work”. This included launching and planning the annual Our Core Communities Shine events, numerous community BBQ’s, and anniversary celebrations.

Laverne’s impact is throughout all aspects of Quint’s programming and practices. Her legacy will be that of dedication, compassion, and perseverance, always fighting for the good of her community and the people in it. On behalf of the Quint staff, board of directors and the community at large, Laverne we are so thankful for your leadership and vision to bring Quint to reality. Your contributions will continue to transcend the 26 years you have committed to our west side core communities and beyond.

Happy Retirement!