• By: OLM Staff

Ottawa Ethno-Cultural Seniors Network release cookbook Flavours of Home

Over twenty-five senior groups from Ottawa's Ethno-Cultural Seniors Network (OECSN) have launched an international cookbook as a fundraiser for the Social Planning Council of Ottawa (SPCO). The book also provides a glimpse into the lives of these seniors, their cultural stories, and their life journeys.

Flavours of Home is the inaugural cookbook from the Ottawa Ethno-Cultural Seniors Network. A labour of love, the full-colour cookbook features contributions from thirty seniors from all occupations and has over sixty traditional recipes from their homelands ranging from soups to appetizers to main course meals. These dishes are often a staple for many seniors and can be made easily by anyone without any cooking skills. 

A lot of love and passion went into creating Flavours of Home. It is a celebration of sharing recipes, from diverse cultures, cooking and sharing meals which brings people together and unites them in ways that breakdown down barriers and bridge cross-cultural understanding.

One senior said, “I feel that I am sharing something that is so personal to me which my grandmother taught me, and now others can feel, touch and taste those memories that I so cherished about my grandmother.”

Sybil Braganza, a coordinator for the group, says that ‘this cookbook was an idea we had three years ago but was put on hold. But now, because of the Pandemic and seniors being isolated, we decided to bring the idea back, and then it took off with seniors not only sharing their recipes but also their life stories.”  She adds that, “Flavours of Home is truly a keepsafe and a tribute to the resilience and hard work of our seniors. They are often the most forgotten segment of the immigrant population, but they have much to share, and we have lots to learn from them.”

The book contributors recognize the Social Planning Council of Ottawa which assisted them in making the project a success. Braganza says that it’s because of the support of the SPCO and countless people that we now have our very own book, so that other can learn and enjoy some healthy meals.”

The SPCO has built a trusting relationship with the grassroots ethno-cultural seniors’ network over the past 15 years. Dedicated OECSN volunteers support isolated seniors in their communities. “They’ve been able to deliver free mental health webinars on healthy aging and culturally appropriate dementia care, online activities, technology support, food deliveries and more,” say Sybil Braganza, coordinator of the network. “This cookbook has provided seniors a meaningful way of expressing an important part of their lives that they value.”

Orders for the cookbook can be made at: https://www.ocphe.ca/shop/p/flavours-of-home

About the Social Planning Council of Ottawa:

The Social Planning Council of Ottawa works with Ottawa's social agencies, concerned residents and decision-makers to understand and advocate the social needs of our city. The SPCO is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, charitable organization that has been around for 93 years.

For more information, visit www.ocphe.ca or www.spcottawa.on.ca