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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
They say that there is no better way to get to know someone than by sharing a meal with them.
On Wednesday, August 28, participants who signed up got to chat and follow along with Needham’s Council on Aging Director of Aging Services LaTanya Steele as she made some delicious turkey burgers.
LaTanya Steele is not a recipe person, preferring not to measure ingredients. But this time around, she had a recipe ready for audience to follow as she made a batch of spinach and feta turkey burgers.
Before Steele began cooking, she answered questions, varying from the type of spinach she planned to use to condiments attendees could put on their burgers. Steele even brought a spicy topping for burgers, harissa, that had everyone excited about trying and using.
“I use that at home. It’s very delicious, but so spicy!” cautioned one participant of the cooking class.
Another unscrewed the top of the jar and took a quick smell. “It smells like it!” she said.
Once she had all of the necessary ingredients, Steele got to work preparing the delicious burgers. She took one package of ground turkey into one large metal bowl. Then, a volunteer helped Steele by cracking eggs into a separate bowl and began to beat them with a whisk, the metallic clink echoing each time it hit the side of the bowl.
As Steele finished adding the rest of the ingredients to the burger mixture, Phyllis, a volunteering participant, took the responsibility of removing the stems from the spinach. Next, the spinach had to be chopped and added to the burger mixture.
“These are mediums, but they’ll fit,” said Bruce as he pulled on some gloves and began to chop the spinach.
The smell of the turkey burgers cooking on the grill attracted a small audience outside the kitchen. “She’s cooking turkey burgers” explained one participant to an onlooker.
“A masterpiece, I hope,” said the onlooker. Another participant added that it was always a masterpiece when LaTanya cooked.
Steele’s reputation as a great cook is a well known. While most people want to participate in cooking demonstrations, the participants at this on just sat back and let LaTanya take control. “Anyone want to make a burger patty?” she asked as she placed another burger on the grill. Not a single hand went up. “No? Okay, all right, I’ll do them,” she answered happily.
Just a few minutes later, LaTanya handed out plates with burgers and sweet potato chips on them, and each participant received a cold glass of lemonade. For everyone, the demonstration was a great chance to learn a little bit more about cooking - without having to much of the work.