It’s like Spain, but different

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My community food project has come to a temporary end. Each winter from October to April, I organize volunteers to make freezer crockpot meals for our local Food Bank. They have been extremely well-received by the Food Bank clients and I have had an overwhelming response when it comes to getting volunteers to prepare the meals. Yesterday was no different.

The local RBC gathered eight people to come and help with the final chop on Sunday and, as well as donating their time, they donated $1,000.00 to the crockpot project that I call Dollars for Dinners. I had assumed all of the choppers were RBC employees until I was made aware the husband of one of the employees is the Mayor of one of our local communities.

The more I talked about the inception and growth of my project, the brighter the glow of the light bulb became over his head. Before the hour of meal preparation was over, he thought it would be a great idea in the fall to have all of the Mayors of our communities do a chop together. Instead of the “Running of the Bulls”, it will be the “Chopping of the Mayors”.

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I’m excited for this idea to become a reality. This, I’m sure, will have some sort of media coverage which means more light to be shed on the poverty in our area as well as a great opportunity to get more donations to help our neighbors survive the winter season!

I usually hate it when he’s right, but not this time

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I have a great friend who is sometimes is too smart for his own good.  But his advice is sage, his common sense is welcomed and his support is evident.  The combination of those things has recently led me to draft a couple of letters to companies that have been manufacturing the products I have been using for the venture I began for our local Food Bank.

I penned a few well-constructed emails today to let the companies know how integral their products have been to the success of our Freezer Crockpot meals.  In a world so full of negativity, it’s nice to be able to spread a modicum of happiness.  In those letters I did nothing more than tell the truth about how much of a difference this project has made to our small community and how much their product has helped with that success.

chopfest-hamburger-soup

In a few short hours, I had my first email response.  Nowhere in my email did I ask for anything but, after being so impressed with the project and inspired by our story, this company immediately offered to send us some complimentary products to “help continue our excellent work”.

For those of you who know me, or follow my blog on a regular basis, you will know that some tears were shed after I read that email.  And I’m not completely sure if the tears were of pure joy because this company didn’t hesitate to help or because my friend was right….again.  Regardless of their cause, my cheeks welcomed the emotion.

This Food Bank project has been a labor of love since the beginning and the more time I spend organizing, shopping and setting up the volunteers, the more I know this is not just a one-shot deal.  This enterprise has become a part of my life, and one I hope to continue for a long time.  And now that I know even more support is out there, more home-cooked meals will make it into deserving homes during their tough times.

 

 

 

 

Love is subjective

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I have found love where I least expected to find it.  It caught me off guard, rendered me helpless.  I always thought I knew how true love would feel but this deep emotion is far greater than I anticipated.

I can stare at my new love without feeling the need to speak.  I can touch my new love and feel the warmth being radiated.  I was nervous to admit to myself that I had fallen hard, but I can’t fight a love like this.

crockpotI have no fear of being the crazy cat lady as I approach the impending new decade that lurks a few years around the corner.  I will happily be the crazy crockpot lady.  I had dinner cooking in this little gem last night as I busily chopped and prepared five more meals for my freezer.  To say I am obsessed is an egregious choice of adjectives.

I do think that my circumstance could be much more dire than it currently is – not only have I found a love that shares my passion for food, but together we are helping people who can use a bit of a break.

When you find the right love, everything is a win-win.

 

 

A Sunday well spent

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“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W.C. Fields

 freezer meals

For those who have read my recent posts about my passion for cooking and my desire to give back to people in need, this post should come as no shock to you.

I recently stumbled on the genius trend of freezer crockpot meals.  These meals are all prepared ahead, placed uncooked in ziplock bags, laid flat and frozen.  When thawed the night before, they can be dumped into a crockpot the next morning and 6 to 8 hours later, a family has a hot meal waiting for them.

I had one specific friend in mind when I decided to do this but as I told people what I was doing, the list of recipients grew a little longer.  I spent a Sunday afternoon, without watching football, and chopped, poured and bagged until I had completed 16 meals.  At the end of the process, it had taken slightly more than three hours from start to finish – a very encouraging pace.

This Sunday, and most likely the following Sunday, I am going to gather with a group of women to do it all over again, with one major difference.  Although many of the women will take some meals home for their families, we will be donating at least one meal per person to a young couple who lost their home and all of their belongings in a fire.  And though the fire is tragic enough in itself, they were at the hospital giving birth to their first children, twins, as their home was slowly destroyed.

It breaks my heart to think of this couple, worried enough about being parents for the first time, now starting their life as a family with absolutely nothing.  It overwhelms me with emotion to think of all the joy they had setting up the nursery, all of the meals prepared by family waiting in a freezer to ease their first days parenting – all of it, gone.

It is through tears I write this last paragraph.  Currently there are about 16 women wanting to help this family by packing freezer meals for them, as well as some dear friends who have donated cash to the grocery bills.  We shall divide and conquer.  We shall chop, bag and provide, not only food but, our support and concern for a family who could really use a helping hand.