Well, the Gooneybush Girls had a great time this evening. After the usual farm day we headed downtown to make dinner for the mothers and children of the Athens Area Homeless Shelter.
The folks at the shelter have the daunting task of providing home cooked meals every night of the year. For this they need lots of folks in the community to step in and help. I had no idea about all of this but my daughter-in-law, Joni, has recently been installed to the board of directors for the shelter. She filled me in.
I'm what my friend Donna calls a "breeder." I'm not offended, she is one too. We cook with big pots and long spoons. That's how you know a breeder when you see one. We are the ones stirring the 16 quart stock pot. When you think there is nothing to eat, we go to the pantry and cook another seven days worth. Breeders develop these skills feeding hoards of hungry children, their friends, the sick, church members, and extended family. Cooking for twenty - doesn't phase us. Only Jesus can feed more with less.
So, when I heard about the opportunity I jumped, stock pot and long wooden spoon always at the ready. I've whipped up a list of meals complete with ingredients, estimated cost, and utensils/manpower required. I didn't even really have to whip one up, it is in the task list of my Google apps, another sign of a breeder. The manpower will come from friends, church, and family. Tonight the help came from the draft... my daughters: Chloe (11) , Hannah-Jo (9.) I think they really needed to do this. Do you know why? Because on the way there Chloe said, quite seriously, "Mom, where do the homeless people live?" I said, "Nowhere Chloe, that is why they are called home... less, here's your sign (tm.)" Normally she is very intelligent. The prospect of work causes lapses in her cognitive ability.
There is some depth in Chloe's question. Being homeless doesn't really mean that you don't live anywhere. That's what makes it so miserable. You still have to live somewhere, it just isn't home.
The shelter provides a well equipped kitchen to work in. We provide the ingredients and the workforce. It was fun serving the families and talking with them while they ate in the dining room.
Tonight's fare was our family's personal favorite, chicken wrap-ups. The sides were rice, carrots, green beans, cranberry sauce, and homemade cookies. Now wrap-ups are a shelter favorite. Several moms were asking for the recipe. More than one said it was their favorite meal at the shelter- ever. That is high praise. There are many good , even excellent cooks, providing meals on other nights of the week. Still, for a woman who loves people with food it was music to the ears. Wrap-ups are a skill level 1 meal, but they are a level 10 on the comfort food scale.
Go back a few lines. They were asking for the recipe. The human spirit is strong. The need to be a good mother, for women, even stronger. It is on the top of their wish list to be home in their own kitchens cooking for their children. They have mentally filed this recipe away for a homecoming meal. That touches me deeply. I hope they get there very soon.
Tonight they are safe and warm, cold weather and snowfall in the forecast, with wrap- ups in their tummies.*selah*
You want some too don't you? I thought so. Here's the recipe:
(serves 157...haha! Jus' kiddin'. Makes 16 wrap-ups)
2 cans Pillsbury large crescent rolls (8 rolls/pkg)
4 or 5 cooked chicken breasts chopped into small pieces
2 or 3 c. of shredded cheddar cheese (depends on how cheesy you want 'em)
2 cans (or 1 family size) cream of chicken soup / equal amt. of milk
1/4 white cooking wine
( For a nice alternative fill with ham and swiss.)
Mix cooked chicken and cheese until well incorporated.
Mix cream of chicken, equal amount milk, and 1/4 c. cooking wine in blender to make the gravy.
Place as much filling as will fit in on top of the crescent roll. With the square end facing you bring the right and left corners over and together and pinch them. Roll toward the point. Place point side up in a greased 13x9 pan. Bake until uniformly brown. Pour all the gravy over the wrap-ups and bake again until bubbly (about 10 more minutes.)
I love to serve wrap-ups with brown rice, peas, and cranberry sauce the best.