Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Super Sweet Potatoes

When I spotted Dean, our volunteer dining room barista, by the kitchen window, I couldn't resist convincing him to pose for a quick picture.  I love his smile and positive energy.  Serving coffee and hot chocolate nonstop for two hours straight is hard work.
It was a busy day at The Wednesday Community Meal. We served 395 meals during our two hour service and everyone who came to eat received a delicious and well-balanced meal.

One of the highlights of the meal were the roasted and mashed sweet potatoes that we served as a side dish. The potatoes came from the Oregon Food Bank and volunteer Kate suggested and took on preparing them my now new favorite way.

Prepping potatoes usually eats up a lot of time, so to make things easier, Kate suggested we just wash, cut them in half and bake them cut side down on a parchment lined sheetpan. Her method worked worked like a charm. The potatoes were soft and caramelized when we pulled them out of the oven and then all we had to do was let them cool for a bit and scoop out the sweet flesh.

Then we mashed them with a bit of butter, salt, pepper and fresh parsley. They were soooo gooood!
The sweet potatoes after baking.

After the baked potatoes cooled for a bit, it was easy to scoop the flesh out of the skin. Look at that caramelized goodness! I love Kate's method!

Our main entrees today were pork loin, barbecue chicken, chicken curry, baked fish, chili rellenos, vegetarian lasagna and hot dogs. We had to change our menu in order to utilize all of the week's gleaned food. Making do with what we get is a challenge that keeps us on our toes, but it is the right thing to do because we save perfectly good food from going to waste.
A meal of roasted pork loin, mixed rice, roasted zucchini and tomato. We always strive to serve meals that are both nutritious and delicious.

I also have to give a special shout out to longtime and very dedicated volunteers Leah and Martha. They were absolutely indispensable in the kitchen today. We were short on volunteers so unassisted, they prepared and dished up every single bowl of soup and plate of salad that left the kitchen today. They worked nonstop for more than five hours and just wow! —I am so grateful.

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