Friday, October 23, 2015

In the Food Stamps Cooking Clubhouse!

No.  The Clubhouse is NOT in Utah and NO, I am NOT in prison!

The Clubhouse was buzzing with activity this week!  It was a party atmosphere, really, and it filled my bucket as nothing else could.  Nikki is raising 3 charming children, a garden, several businesses; in a very real sense she is setting the world on fire!  She is concerned about the environment,  how food is sourced - and the ethical standards of that process. She is interested in everything on the planet, the planet itself and she is extremely well read.  She is far better informed than most people. Besides that, she's cuter than cute.

SIDEBAR:  Nikki has 4 youngsters if you count Danny, her husband, who is a professor at Peru State College.  JUST KIDDING!  END SIDEBAR.

Nikki collected Mother Connie's favorite spaghetti sauce recipe:

I got a jump start on our meal by sauteing the 'trinity'-onions, carrots, celery:

When Nikki arrived, she brought eggplant, potatoes, more carrots, and tomatoes.  We added this and that until we had a full soup pot of goodness.  Among the items added were quinoa, vegetable broth, tomato paste, a touch of sugar to brighten the tomatoes, and a whole clove of garlic, peeled. 

Nikki also brought a home made loaf of sourdough bread  -*YUM YUM YUMMY - and a shaker of kale flakes she had made with her dehydrator.  We had fresh basil available for topping the soup at serving time. We were on nutrition/flavor HIGH ALERT!

Another family was invited to share the food and the fun.  Their 10 year old, Ava, brought soda bread that she had made ALL BY HERSELF!  That was snarfed up before the camera could capture it.  IT WAS SO DELISH.

Jack, Eli, Ava and Lucy had the whole kitchen for their giggling pleasure!

While the soup simmered and we tore the greens for the salad (which we forgot to photograph!  ARGH) we chatted about how we could use cabbage in various ways and how forgiving it is.  Mother Connie showed Nikki how to use celery to make broth and how to wrap celery in a kitchen towel and foil to keep it fresh longer.

The salad was a duke's mix of bitter greens like spinach, chard and kale with sweet, tender butter lettuce, cranberries, slivered almonds, and chopped broccoli.  A variety of dressings were available; the meal was presented buffet style.

We hated to have to eat dessert.  *That is a blatant lie.  There were TWO kinds of brownies.  We could not decide between them so we had a piece of each flavor.  

The tabletop conversation was scintillating!  We discussed every topic known to mankind, including food and cookery!  The children enjoyed their play and I was sorry to see the evening come to a close.  It was important to get the children into bed in a timely fashion; the next day was a school/work day.  Y A W N...

It is so wonderful to know and love people who seem to be on the same page.  It is inspirational to hang out with well educated, well intended, well spoken folks who express themselves eloquently about topics we all care about.  And it's way fun to share a meal with people we admire.

It is great fun to cook in the Clubhouse and it is such a treat to share all that fun!

Thank you, Nikki and Danny, Annie, Lucy, and Jack!  And thank you, Wendi and Dustin, Ava and Eli.  DO HURRY BACK!  You make our hearts sing.  And dance!

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