How The Other Half Cooks
Welcome, food fanciers!
This weekend was slightly different to the norm, as our devoted chef Clive was away in Glasgow. My lovely husband Duncan (for whom I am ghost-writing this week’s blog) stepped in as the chief cook (and bottle washer). Due to time constraints, and the low numbers of regular volunteers, Duncan decided to prepare all the veg for the big soup on Saturday night, at the close of our Sabbath.
Upon arriving at the kitchen in Granton SDA Church, he got a number of surprises. 1) it was already open! 2) the Pastor was still busy in the church hall with a huge congregation, and 3) there were a plethora of children playing in the dining area.
“I said my ‘hellos’ and started the work. My first job was making an allergen-free stock for the soup, as we have service users (and Janine as well) with special diets. The base of my soup was made from celeriac, mushroom, parsnip, capsicum and just a little chilli. Finely chopped and boiled down, it would make for a nicely aromatic base if it was sweated in a pot. I began to line up the other ingredients; red cabbage, carrot, sweet potato and potato. Fresh herbs were left from the last donation, and these were going in as well.
As I was about to start my veg prep, I had another surprise. A very happy child (Eoin) wandered into the kitchen and asked to be my assistant(!) After he attained permission from his mum, Eoin helped chop up some of the ingredients for the soup base. He said that working with all this food was making him hungry – it was nearly 6pm! With a little assistance from me, and a few extra ingredients, he made fresh guacamole with carrots and red pepper – also some baby baked potatoes – for himself, his sisters and a number of the other kids in the church. He was a wee star in the kitchen and really enjoyed himself.
I finished off the prep for the main soup vegetables, and made up herb bundles before placing all the ingredients in the fridge ready for cooking up the next day. This meant that, on Sunday afternoon, all that was needed was to ‘pot up’ the food and turn on the ring. Lovely, thick soup was ready in just over an hour.
Eoin is welcome to be my kitchen assistant anytime!
On Sunday, we did our usual collection. Eight crates were forthcoming from Morrison’s. A quick rough sort, then we were off to Granton to bag up, and to cook the soup. Everybody got a lively mix of potato, carrot, cabbage, pepper, stir-fry veg, chilli, apple, orange, pear – and a few other little treats in their bags this week. The thirty-five plus portions of soup went down a storm with our volunteers and our recipients.
We started our day in Morrison’s, chatting to people who were interested in our food bank. We finished it with a new referral”.–
Now our heroic ‘2nd Chef’ is relaxing with cats, and dictating the blog so folk will know how it went. Many thanks to George, Fred and Feston for assisting us with the work today. 🙂
God bless, all.