Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Summer Reunion

I am so happy that Ian and Nicholas came in to help today. They are hard workers and lots of fun!

I love it when school is out and young volunteers come in to help at The Wednesday Community Meal.

My daughter Eleanor and I were the first volunteers to arrive at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral this morning and I had hopes that other young volunteers would also come in to help, but I didn't want to get my heart set on it with it being the first week of the summer break. School did just get out and lets face it, sleeping in does sound pretty appealing.

I shouldn't have for a second doubted the dedication of our fantastic young volunteers.

By 8 a.m., Sierra was in the kitchen ready to get to work washing and dicing three cases of squash from the Oregon Food Bank. Eleanor took on making croutons for the salads and then I peeked out into the dining room and saw Ian had come in and was already helping to set up tables in the dining room. Before I knew it, Nicholas, Ava, Zane and Olivia were also in the kitchen helping.

It really is a pleasure to see volunteers of all ages, working together to feed the hungry in our community. Ian, Zane and Nicholas just graduated from high school and will soon be heading off to college and I hate to think this might be their last summer volunteering at the community meal.  They've been coming in to help for years and they are an absolute joy to work alongside.

On the menu today was soup, salad, chicken enchiladas, pork tamales, rice, roasted summer squash, fresh salsa and watermelon.
A meal of chicken enchiladas, rice, roasted summer squash, fresh salsa and watermelon.
Zane made the salsa by combining diced fresh tomatoes, onion and cilantro with donated containers of salsa from Trader Joe's and a jug of La Victoria salsa purchased by Trinity from Cash 'n' Carry. He carefully seasoned it with extra chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt and made honestly one of the best and freshest tasting salsas I've ever tasted. It really is amazing what you can create with a little of this, a little of that, an open mind and a positive attitude. Negativity can really ruin a dish and there's no room or time for that in a busy and productive kitchen.
Zane's one of a kind super salsa!

By the time it was ready to serve, we had three more young helpers join our crew — Aidan, Scarlett and Isla Blue.

It was a fun and productive day and we made a lot of hungry people happy. We served 337 meals during our two hour service.

Olivia, Eleanor and Sierra getting the juice station ready. Eleanor burned her hand on the oven and as a remedy, has cold yellow mustard on it, held on with a plastic glove and painter's tape. I know this looks and sounds strange but for mild burns, cold yellow mustard works like a charm to cool and heal.

Aidan and Ave dishing up the chocolate pudding for dessert.

Isla Blue helped Cindy serve dessert in the dining room. They make the best team!

In addition to making the salsa, Zane cooked all of the pork tamales which were generously donated by Trader Joe's. He cooked every single one perfectly. Eleanor is alongside him, getting a plate of food for her lunch break.

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