For the past year I have been volunteering to cook for local foster families in our community. The foster system and community and the people that make it up are something I feel very passionate about. I was a foster child. I remember good and bad things about being in the system and being a “system kid.” I really have a soft spot for the kids in the system, Especially the older ones. I try when and where I can to help out in as many ways as I can. One thing I do is to feed the families. It has been the most rewarding and the biggest opportunity I have had to to grow as a home cook and leader, working in the industrial kitchen in the family life center of our church. Cooking food in quantity is an entire different monster than cooking a casual family meal. Cooking in ovens that are not mine and on stovetops that heat pots that I don’t normally cook in … it’s all different and challenging. I’m coming into this huge opportunity where I will be thrust into a kitchen I do not know. That is probably my biggest fear. The opportunity for things to go wrong on times and temps in an oven you do not know are endless! I wish I could just have a day to test run the kitchen before I’m thrust into it neck deep with all eyes on me frantically trying to pull a miracle out of my ass. OH I can cook ! Don’t get me wrong there is NO DOUBTING THAT but can I do it under pressure? Can I do it with time restrictions? Can I do it without thinking and just DO IT ?? YEH hell YES I can…. as long as that kitchen doesn’t mess with me. Anyways back to the foster care thing ….
The kids we work with and the parents are having fun. The parents don’t have to do dishes that night. I HOPE like hell they love the food because they don’t really get a choice. I am just cooking what I think people will like. But honestly I think what’s done the best so far is the taco buffet and the chili and baked potato buffets. I guess people like having a choice when it comes to food. And when dealing with large groups and feeding many different tastes, I really have to say I am leaning towards buffet food bar choices now.
For your next large ## number of human mouth grazing feeding event, I suggest food stations and themed food buffets. And If you are not already involved in the foster care system find out what you can do to volunteer. There are ways for everyone to help out if you want to. Even if you are not keeping kids in your home there is a way you can be a part of changing a child’s life. Remember, it’s NOT the kids fault the ADULTS that should be acting like adults couldn’t get their shit together … so they had their worlds wrecked but WE CAN make it a little less awful for them. It really doesn’t take a lot to make a foster kid feel like they matter. When you come from a place where you might not know when you will have food again a home cooked meal is EVERYTHING to that child.