Dinner In A Pumpkin – Volunteering With My Mom

Yesterday I came home to the Port Hope area to help out my mom with her Cooking Club in the basement of our church. I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew none of the teenagers that showed up to cook, eat and clean and I didn’t know what we were making until I got the breakdown of the evening in the car on the way to the church.

But it was a pretty cool night.

Because of crappy weather and cancellations there were only 4 teens to go with the 3 adults, but it worked out pretty well as we split up the responsibilities for our 3 dishes.

Note: Any time I’m referred to as an adult in that church it feels weird. When I walk into that place it’s like a portal back in time for me to Sunday School and the 30 Hour Famine and years gone by.

We busted out three recipes. A salad, a main course and a dessert.

The salad (my project) was a Red Cabbage deal with red onion and an olive oil/red wine vinegar/salt & pepper dressing. Simple. But we rocked it. Great colour, nice smell, easy to make. I’d do it again.

The main course was Dinner in a Pumpkin. The most unusual new dish I’ve tried in while, it includes ground beef, onion, rice and a hollowed out pumpkin. Saute the onions, brown the beef, cook the rice – mix it all together, put it in the pumpkin and put it in the oven for an hour. True story. And, it was pretty good. Could have used some more seasoning – but everyone has their own tastes in that regard.

And dessert was a pair of non-bake pies: A Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie & A Peanut Butter Vanilla Pie. Both very rich with graham cracker crusts, pudding, peanut butter, whipped cream and chocolate filling and a ton of taste. It’s as easy as mixing them up and putting them in the fridge to set. Loved it.

However, the thing that I geeked out about the most in the evening was the selection we had when it came to saying Grace. There were 10 choices on the sheet of paper my mom handed out. And one of them was about Charlie Brown! So I made sure that’s the one we used.

Here it is:

May we be like Charlie Brown,
Having the courage to get back into the ball game
Even if we don’t win, because we love the game.
May we be like Linus,
Not afraid to carry our blanket
To name the wisdom that sometimes
We need to lean on a higher power.
May we be like Lucy,
Willing to admit that sometimes we are crabby
And we wish everyone would just do things our way
Even though we know the world is bigger than us.
May we be like PigPen,
Happy to be just who we are
No matter what other people think we should be.
May we be like Snoopy,
Celebrating each time the supper dish comes,
With joy in the feast and readiness to dig in!
Amen.

– Rev. Leslee Alfano

It was refreshing to be a part of something so purely good, with no marketing angle or twist or reason. Just adults helping kids. Because they can.

It did my heart good. And if you want to come with me next time I know that my mom won’t say no to more volunteers.

Keep being awesome out there.

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

Dinner In A Pumpkin – Volunteering With My Mom

Yesterday I came home to the Port Hope area to help out my mom with her Cooking Club in the basement of our church. I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew none of the teenagers that showed up to cook, eat and clean and I didn’t know what we were making until I got the breakdown of the evening in the car on the way to the church.

But it was a pretty cool night.

Because of crappy weather and cancellations there were only 4 teens to go with the 3 adults, but it worked out pretty well as we split up the responsibilities for our 3 dishes.

Note: Any time I’m referred to as an adult in that church it feels weird. When I walk into that place it’s like a portal back in time for me to Sunday School and the 30 Hour Famine and years gone by.

We busted out three recipes. A salad, a main course and a dessert.

The salad (my project) was a Red Cabbage deal with red onion and an olive oil/red wine vinegar/salt & pepper dressing. Simple. But we rocked it. Great colour, nice smell, easy to make. I’d do it again.

The main course was Dinner in a Pumpkin. The most unusual new dish I’ve tried in while, it includes ground beef, onion, rice and a hollowed out pumpkin. Saute the onions, brown the beef, cook the rice – mix it all together, put it in the pumpkin and put it in the oven for an hour. True story. And, it was pretty good. Could have used some more seasoning – but everyone has their own tastes in that regard.

And dessert was a pair of non-bake pies: A Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie & A Peanut Butter Vanilla Pie. Both very rich with graham cracker crusts, pudding, peanut butter, whipped cream and chocolate filling and a ton of taste. It’s as easy as mixing them up and putting them in the fridge to set. Loved it.

However, the thing that I geeked out about the most in the evening was the selection we had when it came to saying Grace. There were 10 choices on the sheet of paper my mom handed out. And one of them was about Charlie Brown! So I made sure that’s the one we used.

Here it is:

May we be like Charlie Brown,
Having the courage to get back into the ball game
Even if we don’t win, because we love the game.
May we be like Linus,
Not afraid to carry our blanket
To name the wisdom that sometimes
We need to lean on a higher power.
May we be like Lucy,
Willing to admit that sometimes we are crabby
And we wish everyone would just do things our way
Even though we know the world is bigger than us.
May we be like PigPen,
Happy to be just who we are
No matter what other people think we should be.
May we be like Snoopy,
Celebrating each time the supper dish comes,
With joy in the feast and readiness to dig in!
Amen.

– Rev. Leslee Alfano

It was refreshing to be a part of something so purely good, with no marketing angle or twist or reason. Just adults helping kids. Because they can.

It did my heart good. And if you want to come with me next time I know that my mom won’t say no to more volunteers.

Keep being awesome out there.

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