From Captain Aileen Grossberg:
On a cold, post snowstorm night, 24 guests including a five year old child, were warmed by the hospitality at the Carol Starr MESH Cafe.
After consulting with co-chair and kiddush planner, Aileen Grossberg, chef Lynne Kurzweil with expert help from sous chef Beryl Hiller, cooked a delicious meal of fresh-yes, FRESH, not canned- tuna salad accompanied by grape leaves, grape tomatoes, cucumber and crackers, baked tilapia with Israeli salad repurposed into a Mediterranean tapenade, rice, roasted broccoli and carrots, roll and butter, and finally a healthy dessert of pineapple and berries served with a chocolate chip cookie.
Our guests applauded the meal, enjoyed seconds, and left barely a scrap on the serving platters. When Captain Aileen went around asking people if they enjoyed their meal, faces beamed. Even our youngest guest loved this decidedly adult meal.
Lynne and Aileen are experts at turning our usable kiddush leftovers into delicious meals for our MESH guests. We will be happy to give other chefs suggestions.
New volunteers Shomrei member Meredith and her son Gabriel along with teen volunteer Noah helped in the kitchen with plating and in the Cafe with serving. Gabriel was a whiz with the tuna scoop and Noah left the dishes clean and neat.
MESH staffers Bonnie, Joe and K’hari kept things moving quickly and efficiently in the front of the house.
It was another satisfying night at the Cafe for both guests and volunteers.
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.