Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday feeding is always a special occasion

Special soup of the day. (More pictures after story.)


A Friend of Tembari Children

WE had 89 diners during our feeding gig on Saturday.

We somewhat expected this number since the 2011 school year will only begin tomorrow, Monday, February 7.

Most of our beneficiary children numbering 120 are still away from the settlement with their relatives, and may be still having an extended break.

But as usual, I thought my cooking day was great, seeing the kids slowly building up in number as noon time approached.

I asked The Center’s administrator to make a headcount of the feeding attendees and she came back with some 79 at the first count. Just before my special soup was served to the children at 11.45am, she made another headcount and found 89 at the dining tables.

Good figure, as we have enough of beef stew (12kg) to go around. We prepared fried rice this time, but it proved to be troublesome especially when you are dealing with 10kg of rice in one go. I’ll never try cooking this again.

Plain rice goes better with stew, I told our volunteer mothers, who suggested last week that I prepared fried rice for lunch as the kids looked tired of eating plain rice. This is one of the perks of having sufficient food at the storeroom – the kids could make some request!

But anyway.

“Soup was good, Fredo …” said one kid who was trying to cool his steaming soup. He wanted to gulp it down but it was just too hot for his throat to take.

“What did you put in here … tastes great …” one girl said, and commented that she thought it was her first time to taste it.

The soup I prepared was unique: I stir-fried onion, put in cubed bellfruit, add in two bottles of pasta sauce and seasoning. Then I boiled it in 28 liters of water for several minutes. The final ingredient to go in? Beaten yolks and egg whites from 15 eggs.

The finished dish looked great!

The skies threatened to open up, but I just ignored it, praying it won’t make good its threat.

So, things went all right. The kids had their fill of nice lunch, a far cry from their daily meals of boiled rice and tinned fish – from Monday to Friday.

Saturday lunch has always been a special occasion.

The kids could attest to this.

And they went home across the village with memories of another great lunch.

(Our special lunch for the first Saturday of February was sponsored by the Nanga Clinic and the family of John Ping Law, an executive at Homeguard Construction Ltd. The two sponsors each contributed K200 for the ingredients. Purified water was provided by Parklane International Trading Ltd.)

Children falling in line to wash hands. Now water is no longer a problem.

A volunteer mom adding an ingredient into the beef dish.

Mothers busy at work on the day’s special lunch.

A volunteer mom struggles with the fried rice.

Tembari kid splits firewood while a volunteer mom tends to the beef stew.

Adult kids chatting while food was cooking.

Children waiting for lunch at dining tables.

Food bowls ready to go.

A baby sleeps soundly in his bilum while mom helps out in cooking the day’s lunch.

A volunteer mom serves cordial drink to the kids who are now having lunch.

Kids having a lunch of beef stew, soup and cordial drink.

Preschoolers enjoy lunch inside the classroom

Other kids prefer to eat theirs while sitting on a floor mat.

Volunteer moms merrily clean used utensils. Now, water is no longer a problem.– All pictures by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

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