September 15, 2019 – By Katy Ellefson

Katy, on the left, with her great grandmother and two sisters.

Potato buns, boiled beets, rice pudding, steamed garden veggies in a roux sauce, dill pickles, hot cooked applesauce, and chocolate cream pie. These are some of my nostalgic, most beloved, foods. We all have them. For me, it is the memory of my great grandmother that comes flooding back at the first smell of these dishes. Cooking and eating becomes an emotional experience that will forever connect me to her. It’s not the food alone, but rather the meaning of my relationship with my great grandmother, the memories of her, that impact how much I enjoy the taste of those foods.

Though my great grandmother passed away years before Farm Table was established, I get nostalgic when I am there. Farm Table is rooted in some of the same values that my great grandmother lived out: growing healthy food; seasonal, from-scratch cooking; making simple foods extraordinary; planning and preserving; and being generous, loving, and welcoming. For these reasons, I support and treasure the gift that is Farm Table.

I also feel fortunate to help pass on some of those values through my partnership with Farm Table in bringing cooking education to youth in our community. Every single class reinforces the significance of hands-on cooking experiences, not only the technical part of cooking, but through the exposure to real, delicious foods, and the memories and relationships forged around common values and a shared table .

Katy Ellefson is a Community Health Specialist & Outpatient Dietitian at Amery Hospital and Clinic. She teaches monthly PowerUp kids’ nutrition and cooking classes at Farm Table; and we are excited to be collaborating with her to offer “Cooking Matters,” a six-week healthy cooking course for low-income parents.