It all began with a salad…
…a dish that’s largely absent from my typical sugar-packed carbo-hydrian diet. Cheap carbs satisfy me like nothing else, but they are also packing on me a pretty good load of scale-busting poundage. And much to the chagrin of the wifey and kids, I was still walking around the house topless one day when my young daughter put on the Captain Obvious hat and pointed out, quite bluntly, that my weight was not at an appropriately healthy level.
Thus entered the salad. I was not at all excited about the lunch I brought to work that day and I took the time to make sure everybody knew that. Luckily, I’m blessed to be surrounded by the most loving, caring people anyone can ask to team up with and they showered me with a slew of old family recipes to enlighten me that it IS possible to enjoy a salad! As I stared down at the sad-looking, wrinkled leaves before me, it took some imagination to wrap my head around all their suggestions.
In the midst of all this, I suddenly remembered there was a salad I liked growing up. This “fruit salad” (which, by the way, is chock-full of mayo and didn’t have an ounce of greens in it) was always there at our family gatherings, barbeques, birthday parties, etc. I had an urge to share this childhood dish with the rest of the team. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for all of us to get a taste of each other’s salad creations over lunch right here at the studio?
This idea excited everyone else, too, and it kicked off our first-ever Food Challenge at SweetGeorgia — Theme: Salad! Each team member brought their favourite salad on the assigned day, filling the table with colors and flavours in every bowl! We were elated! Along with all the beautiful leafy greens was an assortment of fruits including apples, mangoes, and avocados, and proteins like bacon, chicken, and beef, all topped off with several delicious homemade dressings. Not surprisingly, my fruit salad was the only sugary-carb-packed-dessert-salad served that day, but, thankfully, it, too, was well received!
Since that first Salad Challenge, our Assistant Production Manager, Charlotte, has been spearheading all our Food Challenge events. She’s been tackling a wide variety of themes ranging from pasta to tacos, soups to bakes, sandwiches to casseroles, and many others!
This past Thanksgiving, we had the “Stuffed” Challenge. It included stuffed apples, stuffed seashell pasta, stuffed bell peppers, stuffed potatoes, stuffed pastry and one of my favourite Chinese staples… Wontons. Our good friend and neighbor, Patrick, joined us for the luncheon, making it an extra-special challenge. Every time we have a problem that needs his expertise, he’s always there to give us a helping hand. We were so glad to be able to return the blessing and share this meal with him. By the end of the challenge, we had a fully stuffed SweetGeorgia Team + Patrick! Sorry, Felicia, we did the best we could for the remainder of the afternoon.
Every December, we have our annual cookie exchange that fills our tables with mouth-watering treats. To kick it up a notch this year, Heather, our dye team member with a culinary background before joining us, hosted a Chocolate Covered Strawberry workshop. She taught us how to dress up the strawberries in smart-looking tuxedoes and various chocolate swirls. YES, they tasted absolutely as good as they looked! We were also ecstatic that several former teammates were able to join us. We got to catch up and reflect on the eventful year that that just passed us by, and of course, enjoy each other’s delicious cookies too.
It really is a special experience to appreciate and know each other in this whole other level through each other’s cooking and to literally partake in each other joys and creativity. Savouring the thoughtfulness, heart, and soul behind the cooking truly brings meaning to every bite.
I’m thrilled every time I get to sit down together with our beloved team and enjoy a good meal together. It took some time for us at SweetGeorgia to discover our identity and grow to be who we are today. Now we share in our work and we share in our lives… no matter the challenge. &