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St. Leonard's Mission - Chicago hounds donate dinner

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St. Leonard's Mission - Chicago hounds donate dinner

Cathy2 | Feb 10, 2004 12:07 AM

Mitzvah, a good deed, is a gift which lifts the spirit of the person who benefits and often for the person who provides. Sunday afternoon at St. Leonard’s Mission (SLM) members of Chicago Chowhound provided a soul food dinner designed by Ourpalwill. St. Leonard’s Mission is a pet charity of Pdaane who regularly volunteers there. It is a halfway house for recently paroled convicts, which allows them 90 days to establish a job and a home address. To quote Mr. Daane:

“SLM is not a warm and fuzzy charity, but dollar for dollar and minute for minute you can now see that your donation of goods or time has immediate effect.

“Just to re-do the math. The 30% less chance of becoming a repeat offender through SLH equals almost 50 additional men per year that won't return to a life of crime. (40 residents X 4 semesters = 160; .30 x 160 = 48). During that one year 1200 meals will be served out of that kitchen.”

Our menu:

Fried Chicken Wings were purchased by Ourpalwill and Pdaane from O.T.’s Soul Food Place and Catering

Carolina style pulled pork – 50 pounds – was made by G Wiv on Saturday accompanied by several different sauces, which Gary will post what they were later.

Appropriately cheap white hamburger buns to nestle the pork: Pdaane

Cole Slaw made by Vital Information and the Condiment Queen.

Macaroni and Cheese- three different variants by The Hammonds, Crazy C and Joan.

Candied Sweet Potatoes- Originally these were going to be made by Ourpalwill’s friend Brian (Mitzvah 1). Unexpectedly there was a death in Brian’s family. Saturday evening, Ourpalwill drove Brian to Cleveland returning Sunday (Mitzvah 2). Ourpalwill’s neighbors prepared the sweet potatoes, which was unexpected (Mitzvah 3). Allowing time for Ourpalwill to collect all the food from O.T. (Mitzvah 4). A rare example of cascading Mitzvahs, where one good deed deserves another.

Greens (may contain pork)- purchased by the team of Pdaane and Ourpalwill from O.T’s

Slow stewed pinto beans with smoked turkey purchased by the team of Pdaane and Ourpalwill from O.T’s

Crowder Peas cooked to Ourpalwill’s vague recipe (cover peas with water, add smoked meats and simmer a long time. Before serving mash 0.5 cup beans to thicken the sauce) – Cathy2 made these which OPW advised were right on … in my case a shot in the dark.

Corn bread

Pickles made by Cathy2 and her canning buddy Ellen: 14-day sweet pickle, bread and butter pickles plus quick dill pickles.

Desserts:

Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers by Crazy C

Chocolate Cookies by Joan: soft, chewy and very essence of chocolate

Pecan Pies by Joan

Apple Pies – Cathy2

Pumpkin pies – Cathy2 -- originally Ourpalwill suggested making Sweet Potato Pie. Since squash pies are regional (there was a discussion last November on the general board) using pumpkin instead wasn’t a travesty.

Whipped cream – Cathy2

Fresh fruit by Chowhound volunteers

We served approximately 30 guests, 5 staff and 15 chowhounds. Intentionally, the meal was heavy on leftovers to provide another meal, which also stretches the Mission’s food budget.

To provide an opportunity for fellowship, we mingled and broke bread with the clients and staff. Naturally, there was curiosity about Chowhound activities by the clients. Apparently they thought we were a church group, so to keep in line with their expectations we spontaneously advised we were from the Church of Deliciousness.

Afterwards, the staff provided an outline of their activities, needs and answered questions. Socks, shoes, casual clothing, underwear and toiletries are welcome donations. They are also interested in volunteers to teach skills, tutor, conduct mock job interviews, fundraise and serve on their board of directors. People exiting the system are provided with $10, a black pair of pants, shirt and only it is cold a jacket. So they are indeed starting life again from scratch.

Best regards,
Cathy2

O.T.'s Soul Food Place and Catering
4817 W. Division
773-378-3555

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