SPU's Community Kitchen!

By David Eschliman, Assistant Coordinator, Community Kitchen at SPU

To celebrate autumn and all its bounty, this month’s Community Kitchen at Seattle Pacific University featured cooking with winter squash, with its beautiful array of colors and flavors. There were lots of new faces at the Kitchen this month, including some new volunteers. All in all, we had a great turnout (14 neighbors) and our kitchen space was full and bustling with activity.

Heidi, our Community Kitchen Coordinator started us off with some great information about the different kinds of winter squash available and the numerous nutrition benefits of eating them. We also had a brief demonstration of how to peel, cut, seed, and cube a squash. Many of us, including myself, had not much experience cooking with squash on a regular basis, and we were all really excited to dig in, pull out some seeds, and get slicing.

Once we got cooking, everyone was socializing and enjoying each other’s company.  The smell of great food began to fill the air, and before long, we were enjoying an amazing white bean dip with bread donated by Tall Grass Bakery in Ballard. Later, we all sat around the table to enjoy the delicious food we had just prepared, including acorn, sweet dumpling, and kabocha squash (from Full Circle Farm) stuffed with cinnamon-spiced quinoa and garbanzo beans and a fluffy carrot cake made with carrots (from Full Circle Farm), whole wheat pastry four, walnuts and apple sauce. The flavors of the dishes made everyone pause for a moment. 

Everyone took home a quart of creamy carrot and coconut Thai soup, festive rice pilaf bursting with butternut squash and leeks (from Oxbow Farm), celery and cranberries, and a cheesy whole grain pasta dish with lemon-roasted squash and parsley (thanks Farmer Luke), red onion, and feta! A true community experience happened right here in one of our classrooms on campus.