Garlic And Other Magic

by Thomas Kleinert

Friday I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours in the kitchen with friends. We browned turkey breast, cooked rice, chopped  and sauteed onions, sweet peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and celery. And when we were finished - the last ingredient we added was a handful of fresh oregano - there were several trays of delicious lunch, ready to be served.

It all began with the lovely fragrance of garlic from the marinade that had infused the turkey. With the magic of heat and olive oil, all the other flavors emerged and blended, sweet and salty, meaty, malty, musty, hot and mmmh. Cooking a meal is alchemy, beautiful magic.

We loaded the food on a truck - a great truck equipped with heated compartments - and then the miracle continued in the streets of Nashville. We had made lunch for men and women who spend the night in shelters and tents, under bridges, or just walking until morning. We had cooked a good meal for people who spend the better part of the day hoping for better days.

There is hunger in Nashville. Food security is a term from the dictionary of bureaucrats. Hunger is a human experience.

There are food deserts in Nashville. And there are people who help us see and understand and address those realities.

Next Sunday, February 28, following the 10:45 worship service, Tallu Schuyler will talk to us about hunger in Nashville. Tallu is the Executive Director of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, a ministry named after a miracle. We will eat lunch together (rice, beans, and cornbread) and we will learn together - statistics, terms, facts, and the human experiences that so easily get lost behind them.

On Saturday, February 27, you have an opportunity to be part of a little kitchen magic. There will be rice, black beans, onions, peppers, garlic, corn meal, eggs, salt, milk, water and fire. Would you like to be part of turning all that into a meal for many? The cooks will meet in the Vine Street kitchen sometime on Saturday. Just complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Before you scroll down: on Friday, February 26, a group will gather at 9am in the kitchen at Woodmont Christian Church's South Hall to prepare lunch for the homeless. Contact Caitlin Dally or Tallu Schuyler for details.