|Today's meal of spaghetti topped with shredded Parmesan cheese was served with a side of roasted green beans.|
I think spaghetti just might be our most popular entree at the Wednesday Community Meal.
We served it today and longtime volunteer Carol told me the guests were really pleased when they saw what she was bringing them to eat. One guest was so happy that he clapped his hands.
For us working in the kitchen though, spaghetti can be exhausting to prepare and serve. Boiling enough water to cook a pound of spaghetti noodles at home is one thing but cooking 15 pounds at once in a huge commercial pot is another. It takes nearly 45 minutes just to get the water up to a rolling boil and it's difficult and dangerous to lift the heavy pot to drain the pasta. When that time comes, we call on our team of strong and tall dishwashers to help. Really, if it weren't for them, we would have to just resort to cooking smaller batches.
We have also learned that it's best to mix the noodles with the sauce before serving instead of topping individual portions with the sauce. This mix ahead method keeps the noodles from sticking together and makes the spaghetti much easier to plate.
We served 283 meals today and heard many nice compliments from the guests. One man who came with his girlfriend to eat said, "Thank you so much, we just found this place."
"We are glad you are here," I said and reminded him that food is available at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral every weekday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
"Really?" he responded as if he couldn't believe what I was saying. "Yes," I said.
It was nice to see a genuine smile on his face.