They say that you’ll never forget your first time. Getting robbed that is. Especially when it’s in a church. At a funeral. While you’re volunteering.
When I was 16 I took a shift helping out in the kitchen at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater, a small town on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. If I remember correctly, my step mother had to work that Saturday afternoon so I volunteered to serve hot dish and coffee to the mourners in her place.
During my hours of being a junior church lady my purse was snatched by a thief that we later found out was hitting up weddings and funerals all over our small town. Needless to say I have been wary of church kitchens ever since.
It took me ten years to re-enter a church kitchen as a volunteer, this time in London, England with a non-profit named FoodCycle. FoodCycle groups all over London gather food donations from local supermarkets (generally food that is about to go off but is still usable) and cook it in community kitchens for weekly soup-kitchen type events for the hungry. The LSE group operates out of Holy Cross Church where we thankfully have a small closet where we store all of our personal items within eyesight.
I’ve only been to a few events this term, but it’s nice to spend an afternoon cooking and exchanging tips with other volunteers. Today for instance, I learned how to make a fruit crumble for dessert. This might be something that most people are familiar with, but my family is more of a pie-loving organization, so this was my very first crumble. I did not get a chance to taste it, as it was in high demand, but it seemed to be a crowd pleaser. And this time no one stole my purse.
Here is the unofficial recipe for fruit crumble:
-Fruit of your choice (in this case we used peaches, cherries, and rhubarb) chopped up into fruit cocktail size bites with a bit of sugar added.
-Crumble = 1 part butter + 2 parts flour + sugar to taste. Cube butter and then mix in flour using your hands until you have big-ish crumbs. Mix in sugar.
-Spread fruit in ungreased pan and sprinkle crumbles generously on top. Finish with a dusting of sugar.
– Bake 30 minutes.
(For a delicious-looking real recipe try this one)