Following on from our chat with Leila last week, we caught up with our wonderful volunteer Claire Haines to find out more about what drew her to volunteer with us, and some family food favourites!
Why did you choose to become involved with 91 Ways?
I stumbled across 91 Ways after my friend had been to a supper club and was singing its praises! I read up on what the charity does, and the principle of uniting people through food really resonated with me so I decided to get involved. I love supporting projects that help build communities at a grassroots level, and I love food, so it seemed like the perfect combination!
What do you get out of working with 91 Ways?
I have been volunteering at the Cupper Clubs since July 2019, and it’s been a brilliant way to meet so many people, and try some delicious food from such varied and interesting cooks! It’s really inspiring seeing the guests, from all walks of lives, sitting and dining together, and watching them relax, chat and bond over the food throughout the evening.
What has been your favourite experience volunteering with 91 Ways?
My favourite experience so far has probably been the Palestinian Supper Club back in February. It was the first time I’d been inside the Palestine Museum, despite walking past countless times, and it was a wonderful event – jam packed with people, the atmosphere was so upbeat and fun, and I got to taste food I’d rarely had the opportunity to try before. I still think about those medjool dates!
What is your favourite heritage recipe and what is the story behind it?
My mum is Swiss so I’ve grown up eating a lot of cheese and chocolate! My Oma (grandma) still lives over there, and whenever she’d visit she’d bring a whole extra suitcase just full of food. Totally excessive but there were no complaints!
A family tradition of ours is having a raclette every Christmas, usually in the Christmas/New Year gap when everyone’s written off healthy eating until the New Year anyway… The key to a good raclette is to have loads of potatoes to soak up the delicious melted cheese, plenty of veg to throw on the grill too, and lots of pickles to go alongside. Our family favourite is pickled ginger, which is tangy and sharp and cuts through the rich cheese perfectly. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!