Friday, February 29, 2008

Feeding the homeless

Tonight our church is doing Room in the Inn. In nashville there is a program amongst area churches that feeds and houses homeless people for the night. Each church takes a different night and the Campus for Human Development, which started the program, brings the people to the church and picks them up in the morning. Church groups make dinner and breakfast for the people and then eat the evening meal with them. Its an ingenious plan really, the homeless folks get a better night than the one they would have on the streets and the church folk get a chance to see that homeless people are still people. Anyway I had signed up to bring some veggie dishes and then I get a frantic e-mail from my friend Holly, who was coordinating tonight's dinner, that they need more potato dishes - she's the only person who signed up to bring one. So i check the fridge and happen to have a half full bag of potatoes. I e-mail Holly that I can mash them but they will only feed about 6 or 8 people. She says bring 'em on, we need as much food as we can get. So I scrub and boil potatoes while Small Fry is napping. When i get them all mashed up in the dish, milk and butter added, these potatoes look pretty scrawny. I mean I'm not even sure they will feed 4 people let alone 6 or 8. if Jim Dear and I were eating them they'd be gone in one night (we eat too much but thats behind the point). Quickly i cast about the kitchen looking for something to stir in to make the potatoes seem less sparse, but there's nothing you can add to mashed potatoes except more potatoes! Frustrated I change them into a smaller dish so they don't seem SO small and go about cooking the other food I am supposed to bring. Everything gets in the oven and I'm cleaning up when lo and behold in the dish drainer I see one lone potato. Apparently in my scrubbing, peeling, boiling, frenzy i missed this one. At first I was annoyed-I'd already cleaned up everything-what am I supposed to do with ONE potato? Then I thought to heck with it, i'm going to boil and mash this one potato and add it to the scrawny potatoes at least there will be a little bit more. So thats exactly what i did. Even with just one potato it took a while to boil it down soft enough to mash but I worked on the computer and checked it every so often. Finally it was done and I mashed it up till it was good and creamy and added it into the scrawny potatoes. All of a sudden they didn't look that scrawny.... in fact they look like they could feed 6 or 8 people now, or maybe even 9. I can't believe one potato can do that much but it can. I'm sure there's an allegory there somewhere .....

mashing one potato

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