Grace Willing Workers learn about Mediterranean cooking

Betty Lacy presented the program, “Mediterranean Cooking” at the recent meeting of the Grace Willing Workers Extension Homemakers. Centennial Fellowship Church in White Hall was the location of the meeting.

Lacy opened her program by stating that the Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle approach to healthy eating that includes a balanced variety of foods and daily exercise. The diet is based on the foods and drinks traditionally consumed by people living in countries along the Mediterranean Sea. Generally the Mediterranean Diet is characterized by abundant plant foods, which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans and nuts. Olive oil is the primary source of fat. Cheese, yogurt, fish, poultry and eggs are consumed in low to moderate amounts; red meat in low amounts; and wine in moderation with meals. Sweets are eaten only a few times a week, and fruits are a normal way to end a meal. Minimally processed, seasonally fresh, locally grown grains, vegetables, and fruits are eaten at most meals. These foods are important sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

The Mediterranean lifestyle is about taking the time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. Walking and riding bikes are common. Outdoor markets and community activities draw families outside for physical activity.

Lacy closed her program by stating that the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle have been linked to longer life, decreased risk of heart disease, and a lower prevalence of cancer and other chronic diseases in the Mediterranean population.

Debbie James, club president, conducted the business session. Many members enjoyed the Decorated Button Tee-shirt taught by Liz Crosby. Those creating an original T-shirt using buttons were James, Delores Kelley, Nancy Rosen, Patsy Brown, Brenda Robinson, Lacy, Vester Grandy, Juanita Cook, Tamieka Shelby and her two nieces, Doris Turbeville, Cathy Lewis, Lucy Meeks, and Linda Works.

The Jefferson County Extension Homemakers took an educational/fellowship tour to a restored railroad car in Rison, lunch at the Cottage in Sheridan, and a tour of the Grant County Museum. Those attending from Grace Willing Workers were Bettye Johnson, Crosby, Lynda Toler, Rosen, Lacy, Kelley, Robinson, Kaye Richardson, Lewis, Margaret Thomas, Turbeville and Carolyn Harness.

James discussed community service projects. The club will continue making loom hats for Children’s Hospital. Items requested for the Transformation Project Food Pantry were macaroni and cheese and Hamburger Helper. Diapers for the Salvation Army are also requested.

Johnson discussed the Relay for Life. Other upcoming events were Grace Willing Workers Card Workshop, Jefferson County EHC Smorgasbord Workshop, Kids Fest, Grace Willing Workers Branson trip, and Jefferson County Extension Homemakers Spring Council event.

After the meeting, the club dined at the China Kitchen/Mongolian Grill for food and fellowship.