Tuesday morning came dark and early--3:30 a.m. to be exact. I once again signed up to provide breakfast for close to 20 homeless guests and volunteers through Room in the Inn. After the frustrating experience last month, I knew I was going to cook a meal at the church, where I could be sure to have everything readily available. My menu included muffins, breakfast casserole, and fruit salad.
I decided to make mini muffins because I could offer an assortment and people could sample each kind. Monday afternoon I baked 84 mini muffins: 2 dozen lemon poppy seed, 2 dozen chocolate chip, and 3 dozen blueberry.
I really wanted to do a fancy fruit salad with fresh berries and melons. High prices and lack of fresh produce nixed that idea. Canned fruit salad had to suffice.
There are hundreds of different breakfast casserole recipes online, but I settled upon this quick and easy casserole. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a giant 12 x 18 pan. The only ingredients were 2 cans of crescent rolls, 2 pounds of sausage, 8 eggs, 4 cups of cheese, and 1 1/2 cups of milk.
I had a brief moment of panic at 4 a.m. when I couldn't figure out to work the commercial oven at the church. Thankfully I was a short order cook once upon a time and it didn't take me too long to acquaint myself with the kitchen. Everyone else was sleeping on the air mattresses in the gym, so I tried my best not to disturb anyone.
|You have to twist the "oven" knob to turn it on.|
I was saddened to see a few infants and toddlers staying at the church this time. I know the local shelter is overcrowded as is, but I can't fathom turning away a mother and infant. Of course, this is why Room in the Inn was founded and I admire the dedication of the many coordinators that make the program work. I cannot even think about being unable to provide each of my children with proper nutrition, clean linens, a crib/bed, etc.
While I can't change these individuals' circumstances, I am more than happy to at least provide a warm meal and smile.