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There are a great many things that more time indoors has taught us, one of which is an appreciation of the small things in life.

Graeme is a resident of the True Blue Group Home in Penrith in NSW. He loves to get into the kitchen and test his culinary skills. After speaking with lifestyle assistants at his home, who are there for Graeme if and when he needs help, he decided that he would take on the challenge of making his own jam.

Of course, Graeme wasn’t interested in the usual, ho-hum strawberry or raspberry jam varieties. He wanted something unique, something different and something that he would really love.

He chose to make jam from scratch using his favourite fruits; pears and nectarines.

Supported by a lifestyle assistant Graeme researched all the things he needed and the process to make his jam.

Graeme is considered a whizz in the kitchen by his housemates and he showcased his talents during his jam making session. First, he cut up the fruits into small pieces. Then, he mashed them together with sugar. Next, he boiled all the fruity goodness slowly on the stovetop and stirred continuously. Graeme knew that as the large, sugary bubbles reduced to small ones, his jam was almost done.

After it had cooled, Graeme transferred his jam into jars which he stored in the fridge to set, to be ready for a delicious breakfast tasting.

“I’ve always wanted to make jam,” Graeme said. “I love pears and nectarines, but I can’t find the jams on the shelf at the supermarket. Now I can make it anytime.”

Graeme isn’t the only one getting back to basics in the kitchen. Residents at South Windsor Group Home are enjoying the smell and taste of fresh bread that they make themselves.

Residents and staff use a bread maker to make their bread. They put all the ingredients, including flour, water and yeast into the machine. Then, they watch and wait for the dough to form. As the mixture cooks, the delicious smell of fresh bread wafts throughout the site. When the timer chimes, everyone heads to the kitchen to help slice up the bread to eat for lunch.

“Making the bread from scratch gives everyone a greater appreciation about what goes into the food we eat. Putting in the ingredients and learning about the process supports the development of life skills for every individual who attends our site,” said Maxwell, Team Leader at Afford’s Accommodation.

Find out how you can explore your interests and enhance your life skills in Afford Group Homes across Australia.