Joan Corkhill remembers what a special treat it was as a child when her mother would serve Indian coffee cream biscuits.
"My two sisters and I had a China dolls' tea set which mum would let us use on special occasions," Corkhill says.
"And on these occasions she always made the Indian coffee creams for us. What a special treat."
Now Corkhill is sharing her mother's recipe in Community cookup, a collection of recipes from the community that grew as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched by Community Services #1, a community-based, not-for-profit organisation that has been servicing the Canberra community for more than 35 years.
When the pandemic hit, and people were told to self-isolate and stay at home, the organisation began to look for ways to stay connected to its clients, and in turn, for them to stay connected to each other and their wider community.
Community Services #1 chief executive officer Amanda Tobler said the project began through conversations the clients, talking about where they came from and what we share as a community, and a lot of those conversations were about food.
"Food has a special way of keeping people connected and what better way than by sharing favourite recipes," Tobler says.
"From group shopping trips, regular social get-togethers, celebrating special occasions, catching up at cafes and restaurants, preparing meals with others and, as we have done here, sharing recipes with friends. Food has a special way of keeping us connected."
The cookbook combines a collection of recipes from CS#1 clients, staff and volunteers, many share stories of their origin or a special memory connected to the recipe.
Dragica Nesic is a client and volunteer for CS#1's Croatian seniors group and was been with CS#1 for more than 15 years. She loves cooking for group lunches and has translated several recipes for the book including chicken soup, apple and celery salad and Croatian hazelnut cake.
CS#1 also runs a food pantry in Narrabundah for those with genuine need or those on a limited income and delivers a nutrition support program as part of the ACT Government's Health Promotion Innovation Fund.
- For more details about the cookbook and CS#1 programs head to communityservices1.org.