Report from Captain Alex Kent:
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe hosted a full house, and then some, on Tuesday. Luckily the offerings were bountiful thanks to the previous Syrian lunch, and the Simchat Torah celebration, which constituted much of the meal.
24 guests were served dinner and 7, for whom we had no room, were given takeout dinners. We had a good complement of helpers including newcomers Ira and Wendy Pollack. Ira is a whiz at the dish sink! Aileen Grossberg and Lynne Kurzweil were the chefs, ably assisted by Shomrei teens Noah, Pacey, and Amalia, and adult helper Rachel Kanter. Bonny and Joe ran the show for MESH.
I needed a crib sheet to list all the food that was on the menu, starting with a Syrian appetizer plate with hummus, babaganoush, stuffed grape leaves, potato dumpling, lentil spread, pita chips, cheese and spinach pockets, and gherkins. That alone could have been a full dinner. The main course was hummus crusted salmon, served with roasted carrots and broccoli, rice with vegetables, zucchini and tomato stew, and bread and butter. Not to be outdone, dessert was a three parter of Syrian sweet pasta pudding, fruit salad, and cookies. Despite all the abundance, there was very little in the way of leftovers. Thanks to everyone for pitching in.
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches. Volunteers at each institution cook and serve hearty, nutritious meals for the hungry. Shomrei’s turn is on Tuesday nights. A good meal, and perhaps as important, social interaction and companionship offer respite to those who need it. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by volunteering.
To sign up to help, go to shomrei.org/mesh.