I remember the first time I went to the class. The co-ordinator for the cooking classes was L J, a short, light haired, bundle of energy. I had spoken to her to reserve my place in the class and she was so welcoming that I felt I had known her forever.
The chef was a wonderful young man who had grown up in Ontario and moved to PEI to work. Now he had roots here with a family of his own. It was wonderful to watch him in the kitchen, and his food was so tasty, an incredible blend of spices which could leave you wondering what the various components might be, even though you had watched him put the items together.
Throughout his demonstration, the chef gave lots of tips and suggestions as to how to work more efficiently in the kitchen, what to buy when items are unavailable and how to serve the food. The cooking component of the class was a huge success.
Just as successful however was the social interaction with other class members, many of whom were regulars. Through them, I learned many things about PEI, how things were done, what to expect, what was available here. When Rick joined me at the classes, he too enjoyed the food and the people.
L J was always there, steady, cheerful, kind, friend to all. She opened her arms and her heart to everyone who came to class. People became her friends, not just customers at work.
I think of L J as an ambassador for PEI. She helped us settle into the community and feel like we were home here too. That wasn't an easy feat because we had lived in Newfoundland all of our lives. Now, we are lucky enough to call L J, friend.