At the SPU Community Kitchen this month we celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early. All of our dishes featured a red ingredient: from the roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato dip to the orange, mozzarella, and red beet salad. Everybody who was working with the beets got red-stained hands! For dinner we cooked up a warm red cabbage and red onion salad with creamy gorgonzola cheese and a delicious cheesy polenta gratin with homemade rosemary marinara (red!) sauce (we foraged the rosemary on campus and the bay leaves from a neighborhood laurel tree!). Can you picture all the color? For dessert, we broke our ‘red rule’ in favor of chocolate: we made a dark chocolate flourless cake with garbanzo beans and decorated it with hearts stenciled with confectioner’s sugar. Our kitchen is never complete without a hearty soup or stew, especially in the cold months of winter, and this month we made both. We cooked up a traditional Indian curry stew (dal) with red lentils and red kidney beans, as well as a rustic Italian tomato and bread soup.
I want to warmly thank everyone who is so actively involved in this effort. Our volunteers are consistently characterized with being the “sweetest” and “most fun.” There are also so many generous organizations that make our Kitchen possible every month. Thank you to Full Circle Farm for delicious organic vegetables, to Operation Sack Lunch for high-quality staples, and to Tall Grass Bakery for the ever-satisfying loaves of beautiful bread – you all truly embody what this Kitchen and all Community Kitchens represent. To all those who come and break bread with us, we want to thank you as well. Our Kitchen is beginning to feel like a family and without you all, we just wouldn’t be whole.
Lastly, I want to highlight our Facebook page. What would a blog be without a little bit of shameless self-promotion? Our page is constantly updated with pictures, recipes, and lots of pertinent information, so be sure to like us, follow us, and check back after each Kitchen for news and updates.