Cooking together is good therapy, mom finds


Rose Gower fiercely committed to her bi-weekly community kitchen
Tuesday June 12, 2012 — Michelle Strutzenberger
Cooking together with a bunch of other moms who have a disability can be great therapy, Rose Gower is finding.

You can’t just leave the stove, for instance, if you don’t like what’s being said, or you might burn the meal and risk upsetting the whole group.

“You kind of have to deal with the emotions,” Rose tells the BACI Blast.

There’s also the fact that the group has been meeting regularly for about five years now, so they know each other quite well – and especially their cooking and eating habits.

That means, when something is off with one of them, the others tend to pick up on it.

“We look at the way you’re cooking that day; if you’re doing more than normal, it’s like, ‘OK, what’s up?’ or even less than normal, ‘What’s up?’ ” says the Burnaby resident.

“We know our group; we know when someone is having a bad day.

“We wouldn’t know that necessarily outside of the kitchen. We could go to someone’s house and see her cooking and think nothing of it.”

Rose herself is very open about any challenges she’s dealing with at home raising three children, including two who have a disability.

“It’s just the awesomest being able to have someone to communicate with that understands,” she says, noting most of the moms who have joined the community kitchen are in a similar situation to herself.

They can vent together; they can share ideas about things they’ve tried with their own children that might work with others.

Rose recalls, for instance, her son’s move to semi-independent living and how anxious she was about this.

“Most parents when they hit a hiccup have a nervous breakdown, or just back off. My group was there. They said ‘What’s going on?’ “

Together they talked Rose through the core of the challenge with her son and what might help resolve it.

The group also finds the community kitchen a great place to share good news.

“When my friend got named carrier of the week, they were there,” says Rose.

“It’s just having that connection.”

It’s for this bonding and a few other reasons – meal ideas, a dinner to take home to the family, a chance to get out – that Rose is fiercely committed to the community kitchen run through the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion.

“This gave me a life; it’s the one day that’s my day,” she says.

Rose works part-time at Walmart, and notes she made it very clear when she started that she needed every other Thursday off for her community kitchen.

“I said, ‘If you don’t give me my Thursdays off, don’t hire me.’ That’s the confidence of being in a group like this.”

  More to Come

For a related story, click here.

Feel  free to comment below, or e-mail michelle(at)



One Response to “Cooking together is good therapy, mom finds”

  1. Kids find more than a feast in community kitchen « BACI Blast Says:

    […] BACI Blast Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion « Cooking together is good therapy, mom finds […]

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