I volunteer to cook at a local soup kitchen for the homeless once a while. The last time I cooked for them I cried copiously.
No, it was not that I hated the task. On the contrary, I do enjoy it and put in a lot of love in the food preparation. It was the onions – peeling and chopping 2kg of onions. The fumes emanating from them will inevitably get to me and I start to cry. A good friend of mine, having seen me cry so much, bought me a pair of Onion Goggles for my birthday earlier this year. It was an excellent present – I may look really stupid wearing it but it worked.
As usual one of my sons came to help me out. Son number 2 is getting pretty good with peeling carrots. As I put on my precious Onion Goggles, my son rolled his eyes muttering under his breathe, “Oh, Mum!!!”
This morning as I was peeling some carrots, I heard a timid knock on the kitchen door. As I opened the door, I could see a little old man smiling, “Would you like to have a little marrow and some potatoes from my allotment to use for the Soup Kitchen?”
“How very kind of you! That will be just perfect for my meat stew,” I grinned with delight.
“Oh good, my friend is just cycling over right now,” little old man beamed back.
And sure enough, round the corner came another little old man on a tricycle made with a sturdy front compartment. In that compartment was a large two foot long marrow and an enormous burlap bag of potatoes weighing about 20 kgs! No wonder the poor chap was puffing so hard on that tricycle.
I am convinced that these lovely gifts have enhanced the flavour of today’s meal a hundredfold. We had a pork stew with carrots, parsnips, potatoes, marrow and peas, served on a bed of rice. For the vegetarians, we cooked a vegetable and pasta dish.
It has been a good day and we fed about 80 today a nice home-cooked meal.
I was exhausted at the end of the day and picked up some KFC for dinner….