New Scots Cooking: Food for Freedom is a book I wrote and illustrated in partnership with the women at Freedom from Torture's Women's Group.

 

It is the substantial and delicious result of a project that began as a client-led cooking workshop in 2019, called “The Multi-Cultural Baking and Cooking Project”. While the original title, perhaps, doesn’t scream excitement, the cuisine, culture, friendships begun, learning, teaching and all-out happiness shared amongst the participants turned into a passion project that has kept on growing, managing to reach its way to the virtual realm while we can’t meet in person.

 

When we leave our homes, whether that’s our childhood homes, hometowns, or countries, the most palpable feeling of loss often comes in the form of food. We just can’t cook it the way grandma used to! We can’t find the ingredients in this new neighborhood! We don’t know the names of foodstuffs in another language! These are problems shared by everyone who’s ever moved away. However, through community, we relearn, find, and exchange. We sink deep into the spices, flavours, and delicious memories of our past, nourishing both our hearts and bellies.

 

With this book, featuring stories and recipes contributed by women from 4 continents, we hope you, too, will experience the joys of finding new recipes and old favourites to love and pass on for generations to come. When we learn from one another, we become better. We become fuller in the heart, mind, and stomach.

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Empowerment: Giving voice to women and their experiences.
Integration: Helping the women to feel a part of their communities.


Throughout the project, I intereviewed and then recorded stories from all the women involved. 

We worked on recipe writing, which helped to improve their English skills and to save traditional recipes in perpetuity, which had before been only passed on in the kitchen. This also allowed for women to learn the names of traditonal ingredients in English and brought delicious international foods to the people of Scotland.

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Community Building: Celebrating through sharing food

 

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Integration: Understanding cultures through explanation of traditional foodstuffs 

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