The desire to learn how to cook efficiently in their FEMA trailers brought them together, but the bond of friendship they formed while doing so is what drew them back for a Crockpot Reunion. The FEMA trailer cooking class, offered by the Hancock County School District, wrapped up in March of 2006, but on Tuesday night, members of the class joined for a reunion to get updates and new recipes.
"We were trying to come up with ways to encourage, to keep the community ed classes alive, and we said let's do something that people can really use, and cooking in the FEMA trailer was a severe problem," said Cathy Wilson, the cooking class's teacher.
Katrina tossed many people's lives upside down, but women who took the class say they got a heaping helping of healing through the FEMA trailer cooking class.
"I think I liked coming out and being with people who was experiencing the same thing I was. You couldn't really cook in the FEMA trailers, and you had to get out of those FEMA trailers and socialize and be with people, and it really helped with the healing," said Cleo Lambert.
Lambert drove all the way from Baton Rouge for the reunion. Katrina leveled her South Mississippi home. She lived in a FEMA trailer before retiring and moving across state lines. She was glad to be back with her cooking class friends.
"I am so happy. I've told everybody, I'm going to a crock pot class reunion," Lambert said.
Bay St. Louis resident Tula Carver is still dealing with the problems that come with cooking in a FEMA trailer.
"I had pork chops in a big skillet and then I had stir fry vegetables. I couldn't get two skillets on top of the stove, so thank goodness the stir fry vegetables had stir fry instructions, too," Carver said.
But these ladies look at the glass as half full and say they're glad they made new friends and found created new recipes in the midst of a disaster.
And just so you know, Tula Carver will be cooking dinner in her rebuilt home by Christmas. She says she still plans to use the easy-to-make recipes she learned through the cooking class.