I presented one of my many recent cooking classes, here in Maleny on the sunshine coast, south east Queensland, and once again was lucky enough to attract a nice group of individuals. Sisters, one sibling had bought the cooking lesson and gourmet lunch as a gift for the other, and they were a bit of a hoot, ribbing each other as siblings are prone to do. Matthew and Aaron had joined us as well. Now Matt was a real treat, sharing his joy and authenticity, and Aaron was a lovely bloke as well; from the Red Cross and Matt’s companion, or carer, I suppose.
Interacting with Matt in the cooking class was a total joy and I wondered, afterwards, why that was. I suppose it was because Matt was very real about who he was and shared his enjoyment unaffectedly. Matt had Down’s Syndrome and loved cooking and interacting with hearty people. He definitely brought out the best in me and I guess it was because it was a real pleasure to teach someone who wasn’t wearing a mask or inhibited by fears.
We had fun making rocket pesto and buffalo mozzarella thin crusted LSA pizzas; slow cooked Thai style lamb shanks; vegetarian pastries with lemongrass, cabbage and almonds; baby beetroot, ginger and cashew salad; and a dark chocolate tart with raspberry coulis and double cream.
The five of us had a yummy lunch together and enjoyed a few glasses of wine. The conversation was good and the company was warm and truly friendly. Matt made a difference to my day – thanks Matt!