A night of Food, Friends and Conversation

Last Thursday, Selkirk College Castlegar hosted it’s 1st Dinner Basket Conversation of the year. The event was a comfortable, and relaxed evening where ideas were shared, and peer supports were created. For those who have never been to a dinner club conversation, the concept is simple; a group of students cook diner together, share their meal with each other, all while discussing issues that influence their health. Tonight’s meal and topic?

Spaghetti and Substance Use.

INGREDIENTS                                          IMG_0075
2 lbs - Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, chopped
3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
1(28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2(15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 1⁄2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1 lb thin spaghetti
parmesan cheese


  1. In large, heavy stockpot, brown Italian sausage, breaking up as you stir.       IMG_0078
  2. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.IMG_0077.JPG
  3. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.
  4. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
  5. Stir well, barely bring to a boil, and let simmer.IMG_0082.JPG
  6. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  7. Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.picrIZyXg.jpg


The confidential and relaxed environment prompted some deep 
and interesting conversation around substance use, 

- Early memories that shaped an individuals relationship with
- How substance use fits within their identity and values
- How do you have a healthy relationship with substances
- And finally, how do you know if you've had enough and what 
  helps you monitor or stop

Not only were ideas around substance use shared, but social
supports were created. One participant noted that they 
"spoke more to one of my classmates during that dinner, 
then I had over the past 3 years". Such is the power
of creating community over dinner.

A big thank you to the hosts and participants for creating
this wonderful night!



One response to “A night of Food, Friends and Conversation

  1. I am so glad you had such a rich interesting conversation. It is interesting how cooking and eating together creates bonds and I think we learn more about what matters to us when we are talking to people about our experiences and values.

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