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The air was full of delicious smells for Crockpot Night in the Lubbock Impact dining room as families, friends and many new faces gathered on a February night. One wall was lined with crockpots full of various recipes, something for every taste bud. Of the nine different recipes that participants got to learn how to cook, the one presenting as the most intimidating was lentil soup. Suspicious eyebrows were raised even from those most eager to learn new recipes. The goal of the night was to share new recipes from items that can be found in the food pantry. For many participants, trying a new recipe can make them nervous because spending money on food your family may not eat is not an option. Having the opportunity to try something already prepared, that cooks well in a crockpot and is inexpensive is a win! As they learned and soaked in all of the information, their confidence in new ideas rose. After the first taste of the lentil soup cooked in a crockpot, many were shocked at how much they liked them. Haley McBrayer, Program Director said that “so many of them had never tried lentils before and it ended up being one of their favorite dishes”. Each person tried each of the recipes and then voted for their favorite. Orange chicken was the overall winner for the night.

The fun extended past simply learning new skills and tasting creative, one pot meals. Southcrest Baptist Church generously donated ten crockpots that were used for the cooking and then raffled off to those who attended. Everyone loves to win a prize! One of the participants excitedly told us, “the barbecue smokies were my favorite, that’s gonna be the first thing I make with this [crockpot].” 

Participants left with full stomachs, fresh inspiration and new skills to help them provide for themselves and their families- we’d call that a success! A special thanks to our friends at Ninety-Two Bakery & Cafe for volunteering their time to serve our community through Fun Friday. They made sure the night ran smoothly and was fun for everyone!


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