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One of the benefits of FOOD Club is the chance to try new foods, and experiment with new recipes, as one member explains.

“I was offered some blue cheese, Stilton, at FOOD Club one week and I automatically said “I don’t like blue cheese”. I got home and started pondering my response and I thought how do you really know you don’t like it? My Dad told me when I was a little girl how it was made and I stored that knowledge in my head – that it’s a mouldy, smelly cheese! I then realised I had never even tried it. I thought, I’ve been blessed to be given this, I owe it to FOOD Club to at least try it.

My weekends had always just revolved around getting the kids to football training Saturday mornings and footie matches Sunday mornings, and walking my dogs in the afternoons. Since joining FOOD Club I now also get to work planning the week’s menus with my FOOD Club items. So, I wasted no time and got peeling and cooking Saturday afternoon and thinking about how to use that cheese.

I am so excited to tell you that blue cheese is now my favourite cheese in the world. It was such a huge piece of cheese – and I learnt that it can be kept in the fridge for weeks, if stored correctly and it can be frozen, so I put some in a container to freeze and then made the most delicious lunch ever….

I peeled potatoes and sliced them in different shapes, and some I made garlic chips with. I melted the Stilton on top of my tomatoes and used the sauces I’ve been given at the club to cover some sausages. I added coleslaw and spinach leaves that had been recommended to me at FOOD Club too. Since Saturday I have had Stilton on everything! I made an avocado, Stilton salad with lemon squeezed on it today, with salsa, coleslaw and spinach. As an evening snack on Sunday I melted Stilton on crackers and toast – you name it, Stilton has literally been on everything. I can’t believe how the mind tricks us into thinking we can’t learn or try new things sometimes and I also can’t believe I have gone without blue cheese all these years.

Now that I am being given new items at FOOD Club I’ve never used or tried before I find I really enjoy the taste – instead of just eating to survive, I’m eating because I love the taste. Some items I don’t use for weeks but then I start cooking something quite bland and think ‘oh I could add this sauce I have in my cupboard from FOOD Club’ which adds a whole new flavour.

I tried the seaweed slices one week and realised whilst eating them that they would go well with fish and rice rather than my cheese salad, but until I’d tasted them, I had no idea what they tasted like, so that will be my next food project. Watch this space!

Thank you at the FOOD Club for everything, your time, your service, your happy faces each week. Sometimes people don’t know just how much they are making a difference in somebody’s life, so I want you all to know …. it makes a difference. I have learnt to be grateful for any food item I am lucky enough to receive in these financially worrying times – and I raise a toast to you all with a cup of herbal Summer teabags I received at the club! The Summer teabags have lifted my spirits with the thought of Summer and warm days ahead of us to look forward to.”