Article | September 24, 2018
Dinner with Grace at the Mentone
This past week’s DwG was a wonderful whirlwind, with a hard-working cooking crew on Tuesday and a great turnout for the Mentone meal on Wednesday. Here’s a quick summary …
In the kitchen, the baker’s dozen of volunteers cheerily pulled together to support a less-than-expert lead chef, i.e., me. We welcomed four newcomers from Yeah Education, a mentoring group for community college students, three of whom braved a commute from across the bay to lend a hand. We also welcomed back Neida M., just returned to SF from her home country of Argentina.
Thanks to Anneliese’s carefully selected recipes, Instacart order details and post-cooking notes, we repeated her tasty menu (one-pan entrée of chicken/rice/fresh veggies, salad, oatmeal/choc chip cookies) from the August Crosby. Cooking the rice together with the chicken in the oven instead of separately on the stove made the main dish especially appealing. To keep the calories down, we eliminated the cream this time, but during the volunteers’ dinner we noticed that it was a show-stopper ingredient, so on Wednesday I added a couple of pints to the 8 trays before reheating. Results: total deliciousness, just like before!
It was great to welcome Bill Van Loo back to his usual reheating role Wednesday afternoon. There was a little hiccup when our volunteer driver texted with last-minute car trouble, but — as often happens — divine providence was on our side: Bill zipped down the hill to get his van so he could be our as substitute driver. When we arrived at the Mentone, a group of volunteers was waiting at the curb with a cart to unload the food and tote it up to a dining room full of hungry dinner guests.
The turnout was terrific! Thanks to Jim M.’s brilliant idea to boost declining attendance due to resident turnover, Support Services Manager Shari Gardner is now inviting folks from the nearby Elm, and a bunch of them ambled over to share our meal. Along with our “regulars,” they were absolutely delighted with the food, and very gratefully expressed their appreciation. We volunteers all left with that walking-on-air feeling that comes from participating in truly meaningful good work.
As for the numbers, Shari reports that 43 residents showed up for dinner – 31 from the Mentone and 11 from the Elm. “When I went home at 7:20 pm, we had 1 ½ trays of salad left only. There was no entrée left at all. No cookies were left either. This was a great turnout!!!!”
Heartfelt thanks to all who made this possible:
COOK: Grace C., Neida M., Georgina R., Phoebe D., Deshen Tang, Xingyue T., Junyu (Leo) Z., Zijun Deng, Jennifer O., Susan F., Brooks E., Angel R., Jim M., Nicole Stahl
SERVE: Brooks E., Ziyan (Jack) Z., Doug W., Susan F., Neida M., Nicole Stahl
Be sure to scroll down for pictures!
October 16-17, Mentone
October 30-31, Crosby
Blessings, and hope to see you all again soon!