Messamen مسمن Hanane’s Moroccan Parcels

This week for our creative ESOL & Cooking class at Levenshulme Old Library, our student and dear friend Hanane kindly showed us how to make the delicious Messamen (مسمن), a traditional pancake-like bread stuffed with meat, vegetables and aromatic herbs. Hanane informed us that this bread is usually eaten in the morning or in the afternoon with guests, but always has to be served with Moroccan tea or coffee. That’s a requirement! We would love to share the recipe with you as it is so easy, so versatile yet looks impressive once it is cooked!

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Continue reading “Messamen مسمن Hanane’s Moroccan Parcels”

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Dumpling Lessons: The importance of learner centred sessions.

When we do our private workshops  we know our structure very well. We come in, make our coffees, set up the space. We unpack our ingredients, get out pots, pans and rollers, attach our badges to the aprons, place the water on the stove to boil and await the arrival of our participants. These actions are satisfyingly familiar to us. However, the shape of the sessions as a result of the characters that enter the room is the surprise. What each participant brings remains the most exhilarating part of Heart & Parcel.

Continue reading “Dumpling Lessons: The importance of learner centred sessions.”

ESOL & Cooking Lesson Plan

We thought we would share this lesson plan we have used about three times now with different groups. This is an all round lesson we have created that covers many skills. It works very well with group work and building conversation. More specifically for literacy and numeracy, this lesson familiarises learners with nouns,  adjectives, verbs, spelling, quantities and process adverbs. For well-being purposes, it gets participants chatting, working together to create something, and the cookies are pretty delicious for open conversation at the end.

Materials needed:

Continue reading “ESOL & Cooking Lesson Plan”

Heart and Parcel

A blog from a woman who came to our workshop a couple of weeks ago, met the women we work with and tried some of their delicious dishes. Thank you so much for writing about us and we hope to connect with you soon!

social movements in health GM

Last week I had the chance to briefly meet Heart and Parcel at one of their regular workshops, this time at Inspire in Levenshulme. Heart and Parcel are another brilliant example of a project that mobilises the strengths and knowledge of people, and empowers its participants, building confidence and skills, experimenting with new ideas…Heart and Parcel bring women together, making dumplings, developing ESOL skills. Their work is funded through the dumpling supper clubs and market stalls they run.

heart-and-parcel

Apparently dumplings appear in almost every culture, differing in shape and filling. As Heart and Parcel say, the filling inside dumplings represents the hidden resources and skills that women from migrant communities living in Britain today possess that lie untapped and unused. Heart and Parcel bring women from different cultures together, using English language as the medium. This new approach to ESOL allows women to develop their skills and realise their potential…

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Eight Supper Club Reflections

Last week brought us to the close of our intimate supper clubs showcasing our dumplings that we have been making with women from migrant communities over the last seven months.

For those that are unfamiliar with our project, we ran monthly supper clubs from March – June alternating between Polish and Chinese themed nights. At these evenings we showcased dumplings we had been making with the women at our sessions, using the process as a starting point for exploring further recipes and experiences from the women’s own backgrounds – oh, and practising English too.

These were pilot supper clubs with the ultimate aim to equip ourselves with the necessary skills needed to ‘blaze the trail’ for the women we work with to start their own supper clubs and workshops. **UPDATE** Sure enough, they certainly have reached their goals and beyond! Read about one such success story in the form of a food blogger review of our Bangladeshi supper club, where three of our ladies cooked and hosted for 50 guests with no prior ‘formal’ experience of cooking.

Throughout the four months we have had 29 interesting and generous people join us at the table to get involved in our project and sample the dumpling recipes we created and developed. The money from the tickets went back into our sessions with the women, room hire, buying ingredients and creating English language resources for the sessions.

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Policy, Pierogi and the Perceptions of Women

Just reading back on this again. This message is really important. We feel we need to shout this from the roof tops; to tell as many people as possible about this.

HEART & PARCEL

There are many important issues surrounding our project; their influence indirectly becoming the drive behind Heart & Parcel. Having worked as an English teacher with migrant communities and Karolina working as an advice support worker, I feel the need to discuss the political messages that surround these communities and ESOL, both previously and currently in Britain. I hope this post may shed light as to why increasing numbers of people who, like us work in the third sector and specifically with migrant communities in Britain, are setting up social projects like Heart & Parcel all around the country, and why they are so important in the current political climate.

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পুলি পিঠা Puli Pitha – The Ladies of Levy & their Bangladeshi Coconut dumplings

There is no English translation for Pitha, the women told us. The closest they could get was cake or pie but we really think they resemble a dumpling the most.

At our June session in Levenshulme Inspire, We gave the floor to a group of women who agreed to teach us a kind of dumpling from Bangladesh. We thought we would share it with you.

As always, these little dumplings are traditionally made for special occaisions, receiving guests, a main staple for a Bangladeshi wedding and can also be eaten in small servings as a snack or with tea.

They sell them everywhere in Bangladesh and apparently you will see them on the road side being sold by vendors and small food stalls. They are strongly representative of culture and life in Bangladesh with their variety of different forms and fillings.

These little treasures were a joy to make. Unbelievably easy and look really impressive on the cake trolley.  Continue reading “পুলি পিঠা Puli Pitha – The Ladies of Levy & their Bangladeshi Coconut dumplings”

Heart & Parcel Session #8 – Making Tiropitakia

Dimitra has been coming to our sessions since we started Heart & Parcel and loves cooking as much as we do. She moved to the UK with her husband and two young boys around 10 months ago. She was a hairdresser back in Greece and wants to continue work over here once she is happy with her level of English. She speaks Greek, Albanian and a good amount of Italian and is now starting her journey of learning English here in Manchester.

She tells us that she likes living here because of the people and that her sons are happy at school here. However, she does still miss certain aspects of Greece: the food, her family; mum, sister…. and the balconies out there. Why? Because the clothes dry much more quickly that way.

We asked Dimitra if she would like to lead our next session in English, and she happily agreed. It was a great session, where Dimitra demonstrated to the other mothers from Continue reading “Heart & Parcel Session #8 – Making Tiropitakia”

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