Three Tough Taste-Testers!

Busy day at the homeless shelter! But, a great Monday with a steady stream of folks coming by, all in an upbeat mood. I think the good weather helps, for sure.  Lots of dishes today for me; I missed my dishwashing partner! He’s home from vacation but had to work at his regular job today. Luckily, there were eager men to carry in the donations of clothing when needed. Grateful for the help.

When I was busy, a new-to-me man approached to ask a question. I figured he just wanted sugar for his coffee or a water bottle. Nope. He requested a “rag to wipe off the tables.” Well, that made my day! I told him I could do more than that! And handed him a cloth and a spray bottle of vinegar and water for cleaning. He didn’t just wipe off his table. He wiped down all of the tables. And when a volunteer asked one of the homeless if he’d help change some garbage bags, another man piped up to say the men’s bathroom garbage was full. And if he was given a garbage bag, he’d gladly change it too!

When I arrived today, I was asked to carve the roast beef into cubes. And it was a massive roast beast, I mean, beef! Meanwhile, I watched the cook create the Chinese-style gravy for accompanying the beef. He added honey-garlic sauce, ginger, onions, teriyaki sauce, beef stock and a little Worcestershire sauce. Next, he had a person sample a spoonful. The taste-tester said it was too sweet and needed to be spicier. Well, in went some chili peppers! The next person to sample a spoonful thought it needed just a bit more sweetness. Added was the maple bacon sauce. The third  taste-tester suggested another ingredient: Panda Brand Oyster Sauce. Then, deemed it  perfect! It simmered for another hour to thicken up for just right for tonight’s supper, to be served on a bed of white rice. Because the cook says “that’s how they serve it in Chinese restaurants”.

For lunch, there was cream of potato soup, plus hot dogs on whole-grain bread. Fifteen packages of hot dogs with twelve dogs per package equalled 180 dogs. All gone by 3pm. And the bread ran out at the same time.

Luckily, there were hamburger buns. Using the buns, a tray of ham and cheese sandwiches were made with a special “house” spread added to them. Not sure what went into it but it looked like a combination of mayo and Ranch dressing.

To tie everyone over until the supper hour, a huge watermelon was carved up into triangular pieces. Perfect summertime snack. With hydration as bonus.

A person came by  offering “farming jobs”.  There was a sign-up list and many put down their names. They will be picked up and driven to the county to pick cucumbers.  And, driven back of course!

On the week-end, there was an enormous donation from the Arabic community of Windsor. 90 bags of groceries were donated! Can you believe it? The shelter’s driver said the van was weighed down with all of it on the trips to pick up the donation. Cereal, sugar, salt, canned fruit, kidney beans plus much more. So very generous.  The shelter will be able to provide many, many meals for the homeless. Thanks a lot! Shukran Jazilan” (ﻼﻳﺰﺟ اﺮﻜﺷ)

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