We started out the MESH year making 20 meals, then 30. For this last MESH of the year, we upped the number to 50 meals.
Our MESH team included the trusty trio of Linda Ariel, Lou Hammerman and me (Sarita Eisenberg) plus Lynne Kurzweil. Aileen Grossberg provided the bread and dessert and delivered the packed food.
We made our signature dish of barbeque chicken drumsticks with sides of roasted potatoes with a side of chopped salad (romaine, cucumber, tomato, carrots and corn kernels). For the three vegetarian meals, we cooked up vege-burgers instead of the chicken.
The cooking and packaging took just two and one-half hours in the Shomrei kitchen. Here’s how we did it.
Linda mixed up the chicken and Lou did the potatoes (with some chopping help from Linda) while Sarita and Lynne chopped the salad.
While the chicken and potatoes cooked, Lynne packed the salad into containers. Lou and Sarita packed the chicken and potatoes into containers, topped with a slice of bread. In the meanwhile, Lynne and Linda organized 50 sets of all of the other meal fixings – the salad, fruit cup, desert, breakfast bar, water and utensil package – so they would be ready to be bagged as soon as the main meal was packed; then they put the lids on the main dish containers.
The meal was now ready to be bagged. Lou put the main dish container into each bag and then Lynne, Linda and Sarita added the rest of the items.
The bags were ready and waiting for Aileen when she arrived at 4:30pm to transport the meals over to the MESH site.
I want to acknowledge the Fooderie in West Orange. Lou contacted them and they offered us a 25% discount on the chicken. Thank you to my team members Lou and Linda for joining me each month to cook and pack. Thank you, Lynne and Aileen for offering to help this week, and for spearheading MESH throughout the year.
Message from MESH CO-Chair Lynne Kurzweil:
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei (Montclair Emergency Services for Hope) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches. While in-person service has been discontinued, we are providing hearty, nutritious take-out meals for the hungry. Shomrei’s turn is on Tuesday nights. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by volunteering to help with food preparation or bagging or by making a donation at: shomrei.org/donate.
For questions, contact Lynne or Aileen