This Week’s Donation: cases of bananas, green peppers, and potatoes, 5 lb bag of chocolate milk, 24 cans of tomato puree, 8 bags of pork rinds, and other goodies

If you have ever visited the Lotus House, you know that we love to cook and eat around here. We like it so much, it’s even part of our covenant- we agree to eat together at least twice weekly. Currently, we have 5 scheduled weekly meals together. Sometimes visitors want to know more about how all these awesome meals come together.

All the house members share chores equally. That means that each week, we all rotate through the jobs of cooking and cleaning. While I only have to cook about once a week, I get to enjoy a home-cooked meal 4 other nights a week. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

It takes a lot of food to feed a household this big. Alden does his part to grow lots of vegetables in the summer. We preserve as much of the excess as possible. We also raise chickens that give us eggs, and occasionally meat. Thirza is the official house shopper, and she brings home cases of goodies from Restaurant Depot and Sam’s. A few months ago, we began receiving food donations. It’s a long food chain that ends up with us [(Growers- Distributors- Stores/Restaurants-unused food to Operation Food Search-West Central Church food pantry-leftovers to North City Church-ministry needs first, church families, then all leftovers go to the food_waste_40percentLotus House) even still, Americans waste 40% of the food produced]. We never know what or how much we’ll get, but it kind of feels like manna from heaven.  Just like in the summer when we’re putting our ever-abundant tomatoes and summer squash in every dish, we have to get creative with our donation foods. Sometimes we get 15 lbs of phyllo dough, 40 lbs of bananas, 150 individual yogurts, or 12 gallons of buttermilk. It’s a fun experiment to try to use them up in different ways before their quickly approaching expiration.

I can’t talk about food at the Lotus House without giving a shout-out to our favorite cookbook, Simply in Season. It’s divided by seasons and has recipes that use primarily foods that are growing at the same time. At first it was quite a shift to think about food seasonally, but after 5 years of staining the fall section of the cookbook with our butternut orange fingers, it’s hard to think simply-in-seasonof fruits and vegetables outside of their growing season.

We have been so blessed to have our table over the years filled with good people, lively conversation, and great food.

(PS- Community Dinners are now on Friday nights at 6:30. Come join us!)