This is how it started.
This is how it ended.
Frightening, I know.
I cooked for the largest group of people I've ever cooked for before. There were 60 people, 2 giant pots of soup, 2 enormous bowls of salad, and 4 loaves of bread. Frightening, indeed!
It was a Lenten Dinner Worship, held at my husband's church last Wednesday evening. It was the pastor's idea: an idea to bring together the congregation in a more informal, community-focused worship setting. Community = food, obviously.
9 trays of sliced and roasted butternut squash = community.
Luckily, I wasn't alone in the kitchen for this massive undertaking. Joining me were some of the youth: kids I love and admire. I love cooking with these kids. I don't think there's a dinner we can't make happen, as long as we're working together. We first started cooking together on our trip to Texas this summer and we've had a chance to keep on honing our skills together a few times since. Cooking together = community.
Here is Melissa and Shannon. They washed, peeled, and sliced more veggies, fruits, and loaves of bread than I can enumerate here.
This is Chad and his mom, Rae. Rae peeled the majority of those trays of butternut squash. Chad made veggie broth, whipped the butter, and washed lettuce.
(There was sooooo much squash to peel!)
And so many mouths to feed!
Melissa, Shannon, Chad, Rae, Scott, Karen, Marnie, Ryan, Jason and I worked hard to get the food out and up to the hungry mobs. Serving food = community!
We served salad - a mix of field greens and spinach topped with sliced Granny Smith apples, crumbled feta cheese, and roasted sunflower seeds and drizzled with a honey mustard vinaigrette. Sliced bread with whipped, salted butter went out with the salad.
The main meal was soup - vegan roasted butternut squash soup garnished with a swirl of yogurt and a sprinkle of chives, and a rustic Tuscan soup with kale, sausage, and potatoes. Eating together = total community.
There was eating, singing, praying, and talking. It was an opportunity to be reflective and to come together in a new and different way.
We destroyed the kitchen we worked in, but cleaned it all up after dinner with everyone's help, including a couple of extra hands from John and Eric. Cleaning up a giant mess = super community.
Jason and I arrived home and began the big process of unpacking and putting away all of our materials and food. Above all, we had a lot of leftover kale. (Maybe because Jason had forgotten our bag with three heads of kale in it at home and so we had to run out and buy three more heads of kale and didn't need it all. Maybe.)
Aw yeah, kale.
I think we can call the first Lenten Dinner Worship a success. I know everyone left with their bellies filled, and I hope they all felt a bit more filled up than that, too.
I know my fridge is still full of kale. (We're working on it, but it's a frigginlotofkale.)