Chowder for the Kids and a Flood

Yesterday was the first day back for the after school kids since before Xmas.  I spent a lot of time over the holidays thinking about what I have started here.  I am cooking for almost 40 kids a day now which means I am making lots of casseroles and soups.  It's the only way to do this economically.
 As it is, I am constantly pouring through the newspaper looking for the best sales.

 When I am not cooking, I am shopping.

 Nothing is wasted.  I figure out a way to use everything.

 I bake a lot of bread and rolls because they are the cheapest things to make.  If any of you have suggestions for inexpensive meals, I'd love to hear them.

 For the first day back, on a frigid day, I made them a smoked sausage, potato, cabbage and corn chowder with 8 loaves of french bread.  I used 3 pounds of smoked sausage I bought on sale

 The leeks were saved from my CSA.

 Potatoes were on sale for buy one 10 pound bag and get one free.

 I found cabbage for 1.00 a head and corn was on sale for 49 cents a can.

 I made the stock from chickens that I roasted and I had some cream so I added it at the end.  Twenty quarts of chowder and there was actually a little left so some of the kids took it home in containers.  For most of the kids, this was the first hot meal they've eaten since I last cooked for them.  I don't know, I look around at the craziness in this country right now and I shake my head wondering how kids like this can be ignored.  These kids are not the only ones in this country that are suffering.  How can we live in a country where our children can't get food.  There is no program to feed these children. They live in a small rust belt town that has been forgotten.  It's so poor that there isn't even a pizza parlor or a fast food restaurant.  I don't have the answers.  All I can do is cook.

 Oh well...on the flip is a frozen puppy.  We are getting freezing rain this morning and Teddy is covered in a coat of ice.

And last night we had a pipe burst in the wall in the garden room.  It flooded the entire room with 4 inches of water.  So, we have no water and I can't cook.  I am sitting here trying to figure out how to feed the kids today. And I have to figure out how to get the plumber in here without the frozen pup eating him.  What fun!  At least the floor is clean now!


Mystica said…
I do hope the pipes were sorted out. you are doing yeoman service. Much more than just supplying food. You care.
Oh, there's nothing worse than a burst pipe! Good luck today.
I work in a food pantry where no one is denied food. We are very lucky to have generous donors and also rely on a large county food bank. We are fortunate. Some of the stories that I hear break my heart but I imagine that you hear much worse. Hungry children in our rich country should not be, but it is. Bless you for all you do.
Anonymous said…
I'm so sorry to hear about the broken pipe and all that water. Sure hope it can be quickly fixed.

You are a good and dear soul to feed those children, you are being the solution right now for those 40 kids. However, what is your community doing? What about a food bank? What about food stamps? Are the children here illegally and unable to get food stamps? Then that is another issue that should be taken up by churches and community organizations.

Mentioning churches, what are the local ones doing to help in this situation? What are local elected officials doing? It's got to start at the local level. Communities must take care of their people. You are certainly doing your part. Now others must also.
Susan said…
Ack. Broken pipes are the worst! Especially in this weather - plumbers are BUSY! Maybe Teddy can help you in the kitchen - 40 is quite a lot of hungry kids. How about homemade hot submarine sandwiches? I used to volunteer and cook at a camp and we had a very limited budget (almost none) - we baked loaves of Italian-type bread and then filled them with sliced ham and cheese, etc. I am a proponent of a community helping itself. Once the government - at any level - gets involved, it's all downhill. I'll be keeping my eyes open for recipes....chicken and rice? :)
Ian's Girl said…
Presumably the children in your community were just as hungry 2 months ago, when Obama was in office, or did this just start on Nov 8th? You've been feeding either homeless men or these kids for several years now.

There are a multitude of programs available to make sure kids are eating. It sounds to me like part of the problem is parents who can't be bothered to cook a hot meal.

I wish there was a way you could teach them a little about cooking, which would give them a skill-set, as well as a meal. (Teach a man to fish, etc) Perhaps you could speak with the after-school care coordinator.
lady M said…
Sending you good wishes - so sorry to hear about your broken pipe. Yes it is a crying shame that such a rich country can't feed its children. And the way it is going, they won't have healthcare or an education either. I find Homemade Mac and Cheese is a great comfort food and can be made cheaply. Most kids only get that crap out of the box.
I wish you would publish a cookbook and all the proceeds past costs could be used for a non profit to feed kids. You do amazing things for so many people and in addition have a wonderful store of recipes I and lots of others would gladly pay for, especially if it went to helping you feed more kids.
Anonymous said…
Too bad about the pipe! I do hope it is fixed by now!

Thankfully all children here in Sweden get cooked food in school, school lunches are free here. If it hadn't been we too would have had kids that wouldn't get a cooked meal at all. Some schools are now also giving the children breakfast, not much but a couple of rolls with cheese or something similar. Times are hard for those with no jobs everywhere it seems.

Cottage Tails said…
Feeding 40 kids a day, that is a lot. I too wonder if others in the community would like to help.

Broke my heart reading some had not had a hot meal since you last cooked.

Here In New Zealand we are a nation turning into the haves and have nots... too. something I did not grow up with. Housing prices are through the roof as the govt has allowed overseas investors to buy our land...

Hope Teddy is nice to the repair man.

Heritage Hall said…
Hope the pipe problems are resolved quickly. Our plumbers and
arborists (fallen trees) are working overtime. Very high winds
today, but warming up.
I think the cookbook ala Joyce outlining your school cooking program
would sell very well. I agree that something seems to be amiss in that
you are doing so much without help from sources that should already be
taking care of this issue. I for one have wanted to send you a
monthly check to help defray your costs and I believe there are other
followers of your blog who might also like to help. If we lived around the corner you would have a kitchen brigade at your disposal and some time to pick up your feet and "direct".....I have some great
stomach filler recipes that can be "altered" to minimize overall costs.. Can they be sent to you directly in confidence? Up to you,
Joyce dear....Bless you.
So sorry to hear your pipes burst. Hope they are fixed soon and any damage repaired quickly too. Your corn chowder looks good but I've been hankering for a yummy clam chowder. I make a good Manhatten chowder but not New England.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
sure! you can email me any recipes you think might work!
Gemmagirl said…
I thank God that someone like you cares enough and loves enough to do what you're doing. Our big, fancy supermarket here in Southern Ontario through so away so much prepared foods and produce that it breaks my heart. Whole chickens, salads, sandwiches and all sorts of baked goods tossed. Our government is also to blame for that. But with proper storage and same day delivery tons of food could be used in our food banks.
Guillaume said…
I have a plumbing problem too. Love the look of that chowder.
Jim said…
It appears you are the sole advocate for these least as far as feeding them goes, Joyce. I know it is a HUGE problem that can't be solved by one person. It will take the 'will' of a person or persons in power locally and state wise to access funds for this very poor area. And you know there money out there.....always is when the powers that be want to fund something they need for re-election. Good luck.
I know you don't do this for attention to yourself, but as a fellow human being on this planet...THANK YOU for doing what you do for these kids. They will never forget it.
Valerie said…
God bless you for feeding the children. And I'm with the person above who suggested a cookbook as a fundraiser. You are an amazing cook! I love your recipes, and especially when you give a bit of the history of the dish.