Spicing things up . . . Getting ready to tuck into the meals they cooked as part of Age Concern's Healthy AgeingRalph Tuffery, Shirley Hopkins, Frances MacPherson, Bruce Paton, Marlene Sandri, Hans Schtork, and Philip Garden. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

A cooking course for people over 65 has made its debut in Oamaru, and the students hope the fun won’t stop.

The Ageingcourse is being run by Age Concern Otago, and offers older people in Oamaru an opportunity to engage creatively with food.

The four-week course teaches people how to grocery shop and cook on a budget, and introduces them to a variety of recipes.

Class facilitator Nicky Hay insisted the participants were not strictly “students”.

“They come with their own skills and abilities – I am just a helping hand,” Mrs Hay said.

At the third session last week, students cooked bacon-wrapped prawns, with a mango salsa.

“Everyone can cook an egg, but this shakes things up,” Mrs Hay said.

Age Concern Waitaki co-ordinator Caitriona Prunty said more men attended the classes than women, and they were often widowers “having to step up to cooking for themselves”.

Student Hans Schtork said he enjoyed picking tips up from Mrs Hay. Mr Schtork had not done much cooking, because his late wife, June, loved it and had done most of it, so he really valued the course.

His favourite food to make was dessert, which he could get away with eating, thanks to a fast metabolism, he said.

Many participants hoped the course would continue, because four weeks was not long enough and they enjoyed the social aspect.

Mrs Hay said she would like to make the course a regular occasion, but nothing had yet been confirmed.Sneakers StoreNike Shoes