Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cooking for the Homeless

 I'll tell you, this has been quite an experience.  At this point I have made almost 6000 individual meals since the 1st of the year.  I admit it is a lot of work but it is also the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  The people I feed are so gracious and unabashedly thankful.  My heart breaks almost every time I visit the shelter.  They serve all the food on Styrofoam plates and bowls and they eat with plastic cutlery.  I can't image eating each and every meal this way.  Yesterday when we dropped food off, they had piles of old pizzas that someone donated. The pizzas looked they were sitting somewhere for days and were totally dried out.  Someone had donated some stale desserts and I saw an old gentleman poking at it with his finger to see how hard it was.  A guy next to him asked how it was and the man replied...too hard for me. Just because you are hungry, it doesn't mean you will eat just anything at all.  Someone asked me recently if my skills might be better used if I taught these people how to cook for themselves. Though this might be a good idea, I am sure many of them already know how to cook.  They have no stoves or refrigerators under the bridges where they sleep.  So, for now I am cooking for them whenever I can.

 Remember recently that someone gave me a bunch of beets and sweet potatoes?  A rather strange combo but I have been slowly using them up.  I made sweet potato and sausage soup a while back and this is what I did with the rest.  I found eggs on sale for 99 cents a dozen and bought ten dozen.

And then I boiled the beets. These were the biggest beets I have ever seen.  It took almost 4 hours for them to cook.
 Then The Blog Tech and I peeled and sliced.  It took forever!

 An the eggs, of course, gave me fits.  120 difficult to peel eggs.

 The Blog Tech and I were beet red....really!  I forgot to take pics of the sweet potatoes but I baked a hundred of them and mashed them with cream, butter and salt & pepper.  They were so good.  My kitchen looked like a massacre had occurred.

And we made trays of cornbread which is one of their most favorite treats! I made 6 of these.
 And yes, a honey bear was injured in the making of this cornbread.

I feel deep in my heart that these people, though down on their luck, deserve the best possible food they can get.  I can't imagine not having a home and a decent meal to eat off a plate with utensils. I also can't imagine having nothing to look forward to.  I know they can't wait for me to show up to see what I have prepared for them.  It makes me sleep better at night.  The Blog Tech is going through a training session on Thursday so he can actually start volunteering at the shelter.  I am so proud of him for helping.