Shelter and Potluck Cooking

Last Friday was my day for spring homeless shelter dinner hosting. The Lafayette Urban Ministry requests sandwiches in spring instead of the winter soups. So, turkey sandwiches it was. Jim and I made 32 sandwiches for about $130 dollars. Took just an hour to assemble. It always astonishes me how easy it is to share 32 meals and I regret not doing it more. Maybe this could be a monthly event for us. It is so meditative for me to stir or construct a simple but large meal. Working with good ingredients like fresh in season tomatoes or hearty bread makes me happy. It’ll take another post for me sing an ode to tomatoes in season…, juicy, sweet, maybe in August. For now, strawberries still own the moment.

Sunday we took a caprese salad and a spinach-strawberry-blue cheese-pecan salad for Atiya’s dance team banquet. That was a super quick assembly for a fun gathering. Layering the beautiful bright spring colors of red and green was also therapeutic for an otherwise unseasonably cold May weekend in Indiana.

It takes practice to dissolve the anxiety of cooking for a crowd by finding the balance between attentive effort and practical ease. An anxious host makes everyone feel uncomfortable and guilty. Carrying food elsewhere can be a good way to enjoy the cooking process without feeling the burden of hosting an event. Releasing the quest for perfection can help so many aspects of our lives, from dinner hosting to yoga. Food matters, but never more than the people invited. I simply wanted the sandwiches to be one tiny good thing in an otherwise stressful unpleasant day for shelter guests. At the potluck, I wanted to show my respect for our small community of dance parents who I have endured three competition weekends with. When I remember why I’m doing something burden becomes gratitude. I am grateful that I am able to give and grateful for the other parents who struggle with me to raise happy daughters.

Here is a short but sweet story about party hosting.

Wishing you all a delicious work week ahead,



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