With Covid restrictions finally gone and things opening up to normal again, it was time to put our cooking demonstration hats back on and get in and amongst our community again. We heard regularly from people who had participated in the past, asking us when we would be holding another series. Our last attempt in 2021 had not been possible due to going back into lockdown just before the scheduled dates, but this time with the help of God, we wanted to push through while the opportunity was available, and God surely blessed the cooking demonstrations that were held.
Sr Lidia Voncina and Sr Rosetta Ilic, who have been at the helm of Schofields Church cooking demonstrations for quite a few years, once again were able to pull off a successful series of great vegan recipes with the help of their usual sidekicks who were always on hand for their opinions and advice where needed.
On Monday, 10 October, 2022, we began the evening with a short presentation from Br. A. C. Sas on “Why I am a Vegetarian,” where he was able to share some of his personal experiences and spoke about the benefits of being on a vegetarian diet and why meat eating is a big contributor to many health issues in our society. The talk was then followed by the demonstration of very simple recipes such as Simple gluten free buns (so easy and delish), guacamole, a lima bean open pie (a must try, I promise!) and a vegan bread pudding which was thoroughly enjoyed by our audience.
It was a smaller group than usual for our first night, where we saw about 35 people in attendance, including our usual cooking demo attendees and also some new faces.
On the following Monday, 17 October, 2022, Br. Paul Chapman shared a short presentation on “Calcium” and the benefits of plant-based calcium. We learned that calcium from dairy in fact did the total opposite to our bodies than what it was advertised to do. Indeed in consuming cow’s milk we were causing more damage to our bones than good. Calcium through vegetable protein/plant protein was much more beneficial in preventing bone fractures compared to animal protein, and vegetables, nuts and seeds were higher in calcium than cow’s milk. After this informative presentation, chefs Lidia Voncina, Rosetta Ilic and Stela Gules got to demonstrating another very tasty menu that consisted of a Red Lentil Tofu (great for stir fries), Green Bean Salad (so, so good!), Plant-based Vegetable Frittata (a big hit!) and a Fruit Sago (so good for a hot summer’s day). Again, these were very much enjoyed by all.
The group of attendees on this evening grew a little more, and we had about 45 attendees, which was great to see.
On the last Monday evening of the series, October 24, 2022, Br. Paul Chapman presented a short talk on the importance of the 8 laws of health and how these principles aid us in maintaining our health and preventing us from getting sick, in natural ways. The main highlight though was on the importance of sunlight and the benefits of vitamin D, and its role in helping us to maintain bone strength, regulating our blood pressure, in strengthening our immune system and the role sunshine plays in helping with depression. These were good facts that the audience appreciated.
So for this evening we had a packed menu, as our last demonstration was based on “Vegan Party Foods.” We had a few chefs lined up for this evening – Br. Joe Voncina, Sr. Lidia Voncina, Sr. Rosetta Ilic & Sr. Tanya Ah-Ching, so Br. Joe got us started off by demonstrating Spring Scrolls (Vegan Savoury Strudels) (Just simply amazing!), then followed by the other chefs demonstrating Potato Cheese (great on tacos etc), Sausage Rolls (who doesn’t like a good sausage roll?!), Spelt Flour Spinach Tartlets, Vegan Vege-licious Wraps (its name says it all!), Black Bean Cups, Caramel Slice & Chia & Lime Pudding (both desserts were irresistibly awesome!). We did go just a bit over time on this evening’s menu, but sometimes you just have to leave the audience with something that will keep them coming back for more. On this evening, we did have the most attendees out of this series with an attendance of about 55 happy people who were all so grateful to see the cooking demonstrations on again.
The people in attendance were also happy to explore our Elim Health Store after the conclusion of each evening with many of the necessary ingredients from each recipe that were available in-store being on everyone’s shopping list to trial at home. It was also good to see some health book sales throughout the course of the demonstrations which we pray will be a blessing to those that made the purchases.
In saying all of this, it is also a sad time for the Elim Health Team, as this was the last series that Sr. Lidia Voncina would be in charge of. With Joe and Lidia’s retirement looming at the end of 2022, this will also turn a new leaf for the Elim Health Team and for the cooking demonstrations to come. From humble beginnings about 20 years ago, Sr. Lidia was at the forefront of it all and was very committed to making these demonstrations go a long way, and we are so happy to see the changes and results of great work through the people that have been blessed along the way with the many recipes that have been demonstrated and especially helping many on their journey to good health. We don’t believe this will be the last we will see of Sr. Lidia, as I am sure she won’t be able to help herself and she will be back in one way or another to contribute to the many cooking demonstrations ahead of us, but we thank Sr. Lidia for paving the way, and we hope that those that will continue this great missionary outreach with the Elim Health Team can continue the great work in reaching out to the community through demonstrating the benefits of healthy living through delicious vegan cooking.
~ Tanya Ah-Ching
The recipes and presentations can be found on the Schofields Church YouTube site: