I have three wonderful, happy, fun-loving grand kids. Sadly, they live far, far away. This means lots of bonding by 'Bell'. Last Sunday evening, I spoke to all three, but it was ten year old James who started his telephone time with this question.
"So, Grandma. What are you doing to fill your time this winter?" Hmmm. Quite a query for a ten year old. Whenever a child asks such a deep question I feel they deserve not to be brushed off. Not to be trivialized. But rather to be given a well thought-through response that respects the seriousness of the question.
So I told James about my Legion Lunches. Fred and I are both active members of our local Legion. In the summer, the branch raises money by hosting Friday night bar b ques. Hamburger and salad for $4.
Winter times, however, are different. With no kitchen in our small branch, hosting 'food' events is difficult. Trying to solve this problem, I asked a friend if she would like to partner with me, throughout January and February, to serve Friday Lunches. Eager beaver that she is, her reply was enthusiastic. A planning meeting followed, menus where developed and posted on the bulletin board.
New ventures can take time to become popular, causing us to nervously wonder as our first Friday approached, just how many diners we might have. Twenty Five came!! My partner and I high-fived ourselves at the end of the lunch hour. With she and I donating all the food for this winter project that day saw a $100. go in the Legion's coffers. The next week, 35 showed up. Then 37.
Last Saturday morning, I 'filled my time' by making and freezing Shepherd's Pie for 40. That's what is on today's menu along with salad and homemade rolls that my newly-acquired-since-retirement, bread-making skills enable me to do.
Preparing enough food to feed forty people each Friday is hard work. But what a rewarding experience it has been. How heart warming to see the room filled with people, surrounded by friends and neighbours enjoying good food, fun and conversation.
Today, being close to Valentines' Day, a local keyboardist offered to provide music for our diners. Thanks so much Avril.
This good looking guy is knitting friend Nicki's, husband Paul. He looks quite well fed and happy, here. Isn't that smile a great reward for a little time spent in the kitchen Saturday morning?
How special and loved I felt when James showed an interest in how my days go. And it was wonderful to have rich activities and experiences to share with him. Thanks, James.