Today I provided a meal for the Emergency Shelter in town. I take a meal in twice a month. It may sound daunting but it really is not. I work these meals around my own weekly schedule. I call them up a day or two in advance of when I want to cook, and find out the number of folks currently at the shelter. And I go from there. When I started this project (last summer), that Spouse o' Mine and I discussed it, and decided that for what it might cost the two of us to go out for a nice dinner, a meal could also be thoughtfully provided for whomever was in the shelter on any given evening. When I say "thoughtfully", I mean it takes some thought to frugally provide a meal for anywhere from 20-45 people.
But! It is very easy.
I baked a batch of cookies this morning, and threw three pork loins into the crockpots and went about my daily affairs. The rice & vegetables are cooking as I type.
Tonight I am taking in Asian pulled pork, garlic green beans, and rice with peppers and onions. And chocolate chip cookies. Pork: $25.00, Asian sauce: $5.00, green beans: $4.00, rice: pennies, and peppers & onions: $5.20, chocolate chip cookies: whatever I had on hand in the kitchen cabinets. (I am serving 30 tonight.)
In 45 minutes I will load the food and take it in town. The Emergency Shelter also has a full kitchen and a large pantry full of donated items, so if there happens to be more diners than my lot allows, they can easily supplement it with shelter food. (Although I was told that some people simply do not know how to cook.)
On another note, it is 18º outdoors - the high for today. I looked out my kitchen window this morning (13º and saw this squirrel:
He did not move at all.
I got so worried about him, I wondered if squirrels ever stuck their tongues out on frozen metal.
I headed outside, with my camera, and he did not move. AT ALL. Finally I walked directly under him, and he scampered across four treetops and then he froze again. What was his problem, I wondered?
Ah. Then, I saw the greater picture:
Martin the Helper:
So the Great Plains, and the Flint Hills of Kansas, are getting the winter weather we expect. And here is some news from another plain,
Far, Far Away