From the Kettle - Issue #2

From the Kettle - Issue #2

Welcome to the Stone Soup Café’s Monthly Newsletter! We aim to share important information with you!

In this edition you will find:

  • What's New at the Café
  • Mission Focus - a monthly topic of interest
  • Staying Connected - opportunities to "meet up" with Café folx and share time
  • Recipe of the Month & Upcoming Meal Themes

What’s New At The Café:

February flew by in a flurry! We were so grateful for all of your support of our Valentine’s Day FUNdraiser. We sold 20 dozen cupcakes, 10 dozen decorated cookies, and 20 Decorate Your Own cookie kits. Folx let us know that they had tons of fun decorating cookies with their loved ones.

We received two special treats of our own in February! We were awarded a Massachusetts Food Security Infrastructure Grant to help us purchase more kitchen equipment and build our capacity to make even more meals. Then we received word that our community outreach project will be funded through the Baystate Better Together Grant. We are tickled pink!

We served 1,825 meals this month at our Saturday meals. Our “Free Market” emergency food pantry served 268 people in February. We are so grateful for the over 100 volunteers who shared over 500 hours of their time and talents – THANK YOU SO MUCH! Because of you, our Café can serve delicious restaurant-quality meals to our community.

We restarted our collaboration with Just Roots’ Feastival team and served our first Feastival of 2021 on February 24th – 185 meals of hearty beef or bean stew over lemon kale rice with local apples made into a slaw salad and sweet beet brownies were on the menu. Feastivals will happen once a month on the last Wednesday through May and then we could move to twice a month after that…stay tuned.

We’ve been selected to be in a news feature by “Connecting Point” a PBS news show. Ross Lippman videographer and editor of the show filmed “Stone Soupers” in action all day on February 27th. Ross has let us know that the story will air in the next week or so – stay tuned for details about how you can tune in and watch.

Lastly, we know the vaccine rollout is happening, and yet with supply chain issues and new COVID 19 variants on the rise, we turned to the experts about what more we could do for protection as we work together at the Café. The recommendation was to wear double masks – yet that can be very cumbersome in an already hot environment – so we found a solution! We purchased cloth masks with filter inserts and had them screen-printed by local artisan Carol Michelfelder at Taproot Threads. We are giving these masks (which offer 4 layers of protection when the filter is inserted) to our volunteers and staff. We know that everyone is better protected while working at the Café when wearing a mask.

Mission Focus: Justice, Equity, and Compassion For Our Community

When our founders Bernie Glassman (Zen Peacemakers Founder) and Jeff Bridges (Oscar-winning actor and Zen Buddhist) decided to create the “Let All Eat Café” they had had experiences that showed them that “soup kitchens” shared lots of love at their meals, but not much dignity. Thus they conceived that the Café would serve up love and compassion, recognizing that each and every one of us is part of one another and deserving of dignity and respect.

Perhaps this is best embodied in Bernie’s penning of the Zen Peacemakers mantra “The Gates of Sweet Nectar.” He asked Krishna Das to put the invocation to music. The words help formulate the manner in which Stone Soup Café offers its meal to all who wish to partake.

Calling out to hungry hearts
Everywhere through endless time
You who wander, you who thirst
I offer you this bodhi mind.
Calling out to hungry spirits

Everywhere through endless time
Calling out to hungry hearts
All the lost and left behind
Gather round and share this meal
Your joy and your sorrow
I make them mine.

At the Stone Soup Café, you can see this mantra enacted every Saturday in its entirety. We freely offer ourselves into service of our community and that doing so means we are also serving ourselves. We are one, beautiful and flawed, part and parcel of one another, dependent upon one another, interconnected and in service to each other. Want to see Krishna Das and Bernie talk about the Gates of Sweet Nectar? Watch here!

Working to be just, compassionate, and equitable is why we are a “Pay What You Can” Café. We depend upon one another for sustenance and support. We share our work, we share our food, we share a common purpose, and we create equity through our meals, our messages, and access to our resources. What could be more compassionate, just, and equitable than us all participating in the making, packing, and freely sharing our meals? What could be more fair and caring than for each of us to choose what we can afford in return for these offerings? Want to pay for your meals? Donate here!

I invite you to consider supporting the mission by donating on a recurring basis. As the needs of our community have grown so has the Café’s budget. We need all the help you can share with us! Support Our Mission!

As ever, I am in awe of our beautiful community and the many blessings we share with one another.

Chef Kirsten

Staying Connected: What’s The Buzz?

We always welcome your questions and feedback! Feel free to send us an email at info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com and we'll get back to you within 24 hours!

We are reading and then discussing Dean Spade's book "Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the next)."

In true mutual aid style, we have copies of the book at the Café if you would like to read it and join in on our discussion. The first discussion is set for Sunday, March 7th at 6:30 pm. We do ask that you read the book or at least have most of it read by our first discussion. Here’s a link to the sign up for the event

https://forms.gle/LMyvCdhmmV1ddxj16

We’re looking forward to a riveting conversation about mutual aid and how it ties into our work at Stone Soup Café and beyond.

The Greenfield Stop n Shop has selected Stone Soup Café as its March “Bloomin’ For Good” beneficiaries. Here’s another way to raise some FUNds for the Café this month. Each specially marked bouquet you purchase means that Stone Soup Café will receive $1.

Local author, educator, and Stone Soup volunteer Daniel Yalowitz has a new book titled “Reflections on the Nature of Friendship”. Daniel has graciously offered to do book signings at the Café on March 14th and 21st. The book costs $20.00 and we will have copies available for you to purchase and Daniel will inscribe your copy as you desire. Look for our upcoming posts about this exciting opportunity to meet the author.

Recipe of the Month & March Meal Themes

Friends, last month I shared my vegetable stock recipe with you. It would be awesome to know if you tried it out! Feel free to send me feedback at our info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com address.

Marching into March is always an interesting time – seed inventory happens and the spring winds start to blow, surprise snowstorms make us hibernate a bit more, and yet there is a stirring within me that makes it hard to sit still. Do you feel that way too?

I yearn for tender green yumminess and often make nutrient-dense salads that help my system prepare for the spring activities that take lots of my energies. So I decided to share my seaweed salad recipe with you this month!

Seaweed Salad

2 ounces dried green wakame seaweed

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 small carrot, peeled and sliced paper-thin

1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage

2 ounces daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds

4 green onions, slivered

PREPARATION

  1. Put the wakame in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Drain in a colander, pat dry, and place in a serving bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
  3. Spoon half the dressing over the seaweed, add the lime/lemon juice and toss gently. Taste and add a small amount of salt & pepper if necessary. Surround the salad with the carrot, red cabbage, daikon, you may add other vegetables if you want – like cucumber, radishes, celery. Season them lightly with salt and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
  4. Sprinkle the salad with white and black sesame seeds and green onions.

March Meal Themes:

  • 03/06/21 - Int’l Womens’ Day – World Cuisine
  • 03/13/21 - Isra and Miraj – Traditional Islamic Cuisine
  • 03/20/21- Spring Equinox – Chef Brandon will whip up a delicious meal!
  • 03/27/21 – Passover – Traditional Jewish Cuisine

Posted: to General Newsletter on Sun, Feb 28, 2021
Updated: Sun, Feb 28, 2021