Moms contribute with handmade food at A Taste of Riverside


WHAT: A Taste of Riverside.

WHEN: 6–9 p.m. Sept. 17.

WHERE: St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Hall.

COST: Suggested donation of $50 a person.

When Riverside Educational Center needed a fundraising event last year, it was the moms brigade that came to the rescue.

These are moms who grew up making tortillas, enchiladas and tamales by hand. A Taste of Riverside is their contribution to the center, which provides their children with tutoring and enrichment activities.

Because the families served by the center have limited incomes and are largely Latino — 86 percent — the idea emerged to let the moms do what they do best: cook a traditional Mexican meal.

Surrounding the meal will be cooking demonstrations, a live auction, music and dancing, said Mary Gonzales, co-executive director.

Mothers dominate the cooking portions of A Taste of Riverside, but fathers pitch in on other jobs. One of the dads will perform DJ services, Gonzales said.

The kids will be helping in every respect. The youngsters will help the moms cook and the teenagers will be the wait staff, earning tips and learning valuable work skills.

The cooking demonstrations will be interactive, so be prepared to dig your hands into some masa while learning the cooking methods that have been passed from generation to generation in Mexico and the United States.

On the menu this year are chips with homemade salsas, enchiladas, rice and beans, tamales, pineapple slaw and flan.

One other dish called shaksa was new to me. Shaksa is a popular on the streets of Mexico, sold by corner vendors, and is made of sweet corn with mayonnaise, butter and cotija or Parmesan cheese.

After the event is over, organizers will put together a free cookbook with all the recipes.

Lest you think the only activity will be gorging, the center plans to have Mexican dancers who will teach dances to the crowd. Capping the entertainment for the evening will be classical guitarist, Javier De Los Santos.

Riverside, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Grand Junction, was predominantly Italian in its early days. By the 1950s, it was split roughly 50/50 between those of Italian heritage and those with Hispanic roots, Gonzles said.

Today it is largely Latino, and A Taste of Riverside taps into that culinary tradition in a way that celebrates la familia.

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE: Yet another local restaurant is coming to the aid of the Western Slope Honor Flight.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 13, Outback Steakhouse will host a “Down Under” luncheon to help fund the fifth and final flight.

Proceeds from a $20 donation will allow local World War II veterans to take a whirlwind tour of the Washington, D.C., memorials that honor their service. For reservations, call Kathie Iles at 434-6598 or 216-1743.

HISTORY COMES ALIVE: The Mesa County Historical Society extends an invitation to the entire community to attend its annual potluck picnic from 6–8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at Cross Orchards Living History Farm, a very cool location if you’ve not yet seen it.

The organizers will provide chicken, service, lemonade and entertainment and encourage people to bring a dish to share. The exhibits at the farm will be open.

When planning your potluck contribution, remember, the emphasis is on old fashioned.

For information, call Priscilla Mangnall at 260-5226 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

QUOTE: “There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will.” — Poet Robert Frost

Send tips and ideas to Tess.Furey@


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