Food for thought and how to cook it

Let’s face it: food costs a lot, especially in NYC where oftentimes not only groceries are expensive but they also taste awful — my kingdom for a tomato without that plasticky aftertaste!

Over the last few days, the fridge here at E4 (that’s what M and I call our apt) has gotten a little empty. I was on a writing spree and I barely left the house, and I don’t rely on M for grocery shopping (I know he’ll come back home with two bags of Reese’s peanut butter cups and a box of Mac&Cheese), so we munched on whatever and ate out sometimes.

Yesterday, for example, I picked him up after work and we went to the awesome 2nd Ave Deli, where I think I disappointed our waitress (a nice blond super NY-jewish and food savvy lady) when I was hitting a wall after a bowl of Matzoh soup and had little space left in my stomach for a WHOLE monster-pastrami sandwich.

She saw me cold sweating after finishing the first half, and came back to say the only words I wanted to hear: “Let me bag that for you”. SWEET BEEFY YAHVEH, thank you.

Taking the subway back to E4, I noticed this guy sitting in the station with a black eye on his face. Suddenly, that bag of pastrami felt totally inappropriate, and I asked M to go offer it to him. The guy at first said he couldn’t eat, as he had been beaten up with a baseball bat (!) and he’d throw up. Then he asked, “what is it?”, M said it was pastrami. His face lit up and he took the bag gladly.

I kept thinking about the guy. Homelessness in NYC gets really terrible in the winter, and I wish I could have done something more substantial than sharing half a sandwich with the guy. I’m sure it’s something, but still.

So today I started searching for volunteering opportunities in the city’s soup kitchens. There are a ton: here, here, here are a few examples.

I contacted a person at “Mother’s Kitchen”, a charitable project active in 38 cities in the US that serves meals to the poor once a month through local churches and community centers (I couldn’t commit to a daily weekdays shift like those of many of the daily active kitchens, but I still wanted to help). Hopefully I’ll be able to put my cooking skills to good use!

Searching for soup kitchens, I also found a variety of food blogs that propose cheap recipes for these critical times (and for students, who are always and invariably BROKE).

Some people get really creative, and I’m really sure that paying so much attention to what you eat and how much you spend on it will result in eating healthier foods and wasting less. Imma get my reading on: here, here and here.

The internet is also a major help for raising awareness and motivate people to get involved, especially when it’s just as simple as signing a petition to help with the fundraising, like in the case of ONE.org.

This is another interesting project that I recommend you take a look at:

Let’s do something good today!

4 thoughts on “Food for thought and how to cook it

  1. Mmmmmm second ave deli on 3rd ave is my go-to pastrami sandwich shop when I’m home! Currently picturing that little tomato guy drowning in sauce as I make a stop at the counter for my normal order of matzoh ball soup in a tall container so it won’t spill, and a pastrami sandwich with extra russian- I think I’m hungry… no I’m def hungry and it’s midnight where I am! Thanks for a little taste of home!

  2. I’m sure that the half a sandwich was the best thing that poor fellow had in many a day. The nice thing was that as bad of a shape as he was in you made him smile. Good for you for caring enough to donate time for a worthy cause.

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