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.

Who is this post for? Continue reading “Eight Supper Club Reflections”

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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”

Heart & Parcel ESOL Session #5

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Levenshulme Inspire. Photo by: sams-art.co.uk/gallery

For our fifth session we were really excited to come to our local community centre, Levenshulme Inspire to meet women from migrant communities around Levenshulme.

Inspire was a united reformed church redeveloped in 2009 to become a community centre owned and loved by the people of Levenshulme. It has a great cafe, business suites, spacious rooms for venue hire and many, many community groups that come through its doors every day of the week. For us it was no question as to where we would run our sessions.

Continue reading “Heart & Parcel ESOL Session #5”

Heart & Parcel ESOL Session #4

After the long Easter break, Heart & Parcel were at Marlborough Primary in Salford to greet some women whose children attend the school, cook some Pierogi and practise some English.

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Marlborough Road Academy. photo by: seniorarchitectural.co.uk

We had wanted to work with Marlborough school for a while ever since Clare ran a 10-week parenting ESOL course there. The school has an inclusive culture and are proud of their multicultural and multilingual identity. Up to 29 languages are spoken at the school and over 40 ethnicities are represented. Continue reading “Heart & Parcel ESOL Session #4”

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