Soup Kitchen Saturday... Whole Hog for the homeless

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bbally, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Spent Friday evening and Saturday cooking a hog and feed 172 homeless clients at the soup kitchen. Cooking night was kind of cool as I got to see the night light accents I added to my competition cooker. I am cooking a whole hog that was donated to the soup kitchen by a 4-H family in Mesa County. First a look at the super cool lights.


    Of course it rained and snowed all night while I was cooking the thing. But it was still fun getting a special dinner ready for the clients of the soup kitchen. I was expecting about 120 clients, but I always prepare for 160 or so just in case.


    Anyway enough with the lights. Now it is onto the hog. Prepared it last night and had it on the cooker by 7 PM. The butcher shop cut it into three pieces thinking that it would be cooked in an oven.


    And so after tending to it all night adding wood and making sure the temps are correct I head to the soup kitchen with the rig. When I get there Steve is waiting. He is the weekend kitchen manager and loves when I bring special projects to the kitchen. He hops up and takes a look at the hog pieces.


    The hog actually still has about two hours to go. But Steve can not help himself. He wants pictures and to see the hog. While he is worrying about the hog, (it is guarded now so I don't have to worry about it) I get to setting up the rest of the meal. It is important to me that when the clients come to the soup kitchen on the Saturday I cook every month I want them to remember it. I really like them to have a good meal. Today we received no bread from any of the stores. So I set to making Kaiser rolls for the kitchen. 25 pounds of flour, salt, yeast, sugar, oil and water and I am well on my way to having Kaiser rolls. Just two hours of rising and punching down to get the dough to taste like bread.



    While the dough is rising for the third time, I set out to get the rest of
    the meal moving along. Lots of navy beans so baked beans will be in order. There is also a large amount of hominy that came in as a donation. So I can use that to build a southwest hominy creamed corn green chile vegetable. I start with the hominy.


    I will add creamed corn (we get lots of it donated) regular sweet corn, and Stokes Green Chile sauce. Cumin, salt pepper and we are ready with the vegetable. The dough has risen for the third time and it is now time to form the rolls and rise for the last time before they meet the oven. I have volunteers showing up to help out with all aspects. I set a group to green salads, a group to fruit salad and a group to making rolls.




    While fruit is being cut, salad is being made and the rolls are going on the
    sheet pan as Kaisers. I get to making the beans. When finally
    finished I have one of my older assistants with time in a commercial kitchen
    handle the panning of the finished navy beans come baked beans.


    Two hours in the oven and these things will really darken up and get that
    rich oven baked flavor. The side pork was very nice and harvested from the hog to add to the beans. On to the parts the clients are all lined up to see... the hog coming out of the cooker. Funny thing a rumor spread down at the 5th street park that the hog had gotten ruined and there was only enough for about 50 people. So the line was full at 11 AM with people wanting to get pork and not a bologna sandwich when the meat ran out. I told them no problems with the hog and that I would feed everyone hog. And feed them we did!!!!!




    Of course it is a soup kitchen, so I have to prepare the meat for maximum effectiveness. That means I bone and chop the whole thing. I would kill for a bowl chopper in the kitchen, but we spent the money on the 40 gallon tilt skillet instead of a bowl chopper. Maybe a grant next year will allow me to get one.





    After chopping and saucing. My sauce was based on an Asian Sweet Chile sauce, then I added apricots, teriyaki, malt vinegar, brown sugar, and wasabi. Reduced 40 percent and man was it good! So we chopped, sauced, then heated back up in hotel pans. The sauce will also be available for saucing the pork on top of the Kaiser roll.

    I plated it up for the crews to eat prior to the service at noon. I
    think it will work as a nice meal for them.


    The line is ready and we start to feed.


    I did something different today. I went out into the lunch room and asked many of the clients if I could take pictures. I usually go out and talk to them, but rarely do I haul the camera out there. But today I was struck by the way the economy has changed the cross section of clients I serve.


    Unemployed backhoe operator. No work in three months, just odd jobs. Forced to live in his truck and eat here hoping to find more work next week.


    Unemployed curb and gutter cement finisher. No work in 5 months. Just odd jobs. Wife makes tamales during week and sells them door to door. Good week for them is a hotel room instead of the car for a place to sleep.


    Unemployed day laborer. No other skills. Has been out of work for 13 months now. Gets odd jobs as he can. Hopes the economy picks up soon, tired of living like this.


    Can not find work anywhere. Thanks for the meal. Tough out there they said.

    That is what I did this Saturday. I hope each of you will learn that
    while a certain amount of alcoholics and people with addiction problems use a soup kitchen. Many many times the economy forces regular people to the brink. And they also need someone to help them out of a tough spot. I know we run on our own fund raisers and our own donations. We run with a collaborative effort of all the churches in the valley and the support of many many businesses. I hope you will remember to donate to your local soup kitchen if you have the means!

    Chef Bob Ballantyne

    The Cowboy and The Rose Catering

    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bless you! You are an angel to their needs!
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good work Bob, thanks for sharing.[​IMG]For taking care of some unfortunate folks.
  4. yount

    yount Meat Mopper

    [​IMG]Thats a very nice thing you are doing there.
  5. Kudos to you Bob and all the volunteers helping out the unfortunate.

  6. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Donating time to those who deserve it leaves you smiling knowing you have done what you can. God bless you and your crew of helpers. You have done well.
  7. smokeifuhavem

    smokeifuhavem Fire Starter

    Way to go Bob,Thanks to you and the crew for all you do. We all get caught up in our own little world sometimes, It's good to see all the good things we can do with just a little of our precious time.
  8. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    God Bless you Bob! This is a very touching post, thanks for sharing this with us.[​IMG]
  9. insight

    insight Meat Mopper

    That was the nicest thing I have seen or heard for quite a while. You are a blessing.
  10. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    On top of everything else, I happen to know that Bob is just a helluva nice guy! It's so easy to look at these folks a think of them as a bunch of druggies and drunks, but yes, there is a genuine need out there for help as this economy isn't showing much sign of a turnaround.

    Bob, thanks for what you do and if I can help in some way, please let me know.
  11. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thank you for this post. It brought a tear to my eye. There are people suffering in one way or another & as we move through our lives, concerned about our own problems, we sometimes forget to remember that at any given time we could end up in the same predicament. I applaud you not because of what you have done or what you do. I applaud you not because you think of those around you who are less fortunate than you. I applaud you not because you take your spare time to feed those in need.

    I applaud you because you are who YOU are, a glimmer in the eye of mankind when all about us, the darkness swells, only to one day be removed by the light, the light that starts as a glimmer. You personify my signature statement by Edmund Burke. Evil will never triumph as long as good men such as yourself are around.

    [​IMG]to you Bob. [​IMG]for a job well done!!
  12. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not only a great smoke but a wonderful thing to help out those in need [​IMG]

    If only we could get Clinton back in office, only President in 20+ years to actually improve our economy and Country...
  13. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Bob it looks like it was a fine meal and I'm sure each of those fed was happy to receive it. Great job and thanks for sharing and reminding us that there are many in need now days [​IMG]
  14. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Your a good man.
  15. flyfishjeep

    flyfishjeep Smoking Fanatic

    Thank you for not forgetting those who have fallen on hard times. I'm sure you fed them more than just a meal, but a wonderful feeling of being loved. God Bless you in all that you do. You are a good man![​IMG]
  16. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bless you and others that can help. On thanksgiving lots want to help out but many are needed everyday. If for the grace of god go I
  17. timtimmay

    timtimmay Action Team

    Awsome taking care of those in need (oh, btw the food looked great too). [​IMG]
  18. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You are a bright star in their dimmed lives.

    So, how much does a bowl chopper cost? Is it reasonable enough that a group such as ours could chip together and get it close enough for you? I'd be willing to donate the cost of a few roasts or ribs or butts towards this project. I'm not rich but I can afford some. It's the power of the many. Can a group such as ours rise up to the occasion and make this happen?
  19. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    used they run about 3K or so.

    I appreciate the interest. But together we would effect one kitchen. But if the group wants to help out. I would suggest each person wanting to do so make a committment to their local agency. If we all act locally we will make a big change nationally. You can donate to our soup kitchen if you like, but I think the effect would be greater if everyone donated time or money locally.

    Local actions is what made this country great.
  20. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well done!

    Take care, have fun, and continue to do good!



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