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Archive for February, 2009

Pear Pear Pear Night!

Pear Pear Pear. Feb 25.

Pear Pear Pear. Feb 25.

On Feb 25th 10 volunteer bakers from the neighborhood whipped up a cornucopia of Pear Desserts for the diners of the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen. We had Pear Tarts, Pear Tartins, Pear Crumbles, Pear Pies & a Ginger Pear Cake. Not to mention the special surprise of a Mardis Gras King Cake! Unfortunately, I had all these amazing pictures….of the counter filled with all these gorgeous homemade desserts that were totally to die for…taken with a camera missing the memory card. (D’uoh!) Take my word, it was a fabulous feast for the diners. A big shout out to all the wonderful bakers; Your generosity and support of this project is amazing.

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Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips. Plated and ready to be served.

Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips. Plated and ready to be served.

A month ago, on Martin Luther King Day, the Dessert Corps was launched. Starting a few days later with homemade brownies, the weekly meal at the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen now includes scrumptious homemade desserts prepared in kitchens around the neighborhood. Dozens of volunteers from the community have baked brownies, pies, bars, and other treats in their homes, donating them to the weekly meal. For the last 5 weeks, the diners have really enjoyed feasting on these treats and have been gushing with complements for the chefs.

We can’t stop raving either. The treats flowing in each week have been scrumptiously divine. Our project volunteers seriously rock that whole baking thing.  Check out the pics from our Apple Pie night from the Jan 28th meal on the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen Facebook page

In addition to our fundraising brunches and events, Craig’s Kitchen will continue to organize the weekly sweet spot of the soup kitchen meal.  And we can always use more volunteers in this project. If you feel like baking (even just once in a 6 month stint), it will really help us fulfill our commitment to providing yummy homemade desserts for everyone.

How it works: For every week, there is a specific dessert theme. You can always check out the plan for the upcoming few weeks on the main Dessert Corps blog page.  At the bottom of the page, there is a list of dates, dessert themes, and # of volunteers needed (in order to fulfill the weekly goal of 10 volunteers providing a dessert that serves 10).  When you determine that you can plug into a week, email craigskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com with the date(s) you are baking.  The weekend prior to your committed dessert week, you will receive an email with several recipe suggestions (just in case you don’t already have a fave). There are several drop off locations, days, and times; Tuesday evenings in Williamsburg or Greenpoint, Wednesday days in Greenpoint (exact addresses provided in the email), and at the soup kitchen church after 4pm.  It helps if the desserts arrive by around 6pmish because typically, dessert starts getting served around 6:20-6:30pm. Some volunteers have been baking weekly, some monthly, and some plan to plug in whenever their schedule and budget permits. Its pretty mellow and casual and we hope you will join us in the fun.

Feb 4. Lemon Bars waiting to get plated.

Feb 4. Lemon Bars waiting to get plated.

On Feb 4,  Lemon Bars was the theme. The donations were tart, creamy, and divine. The diners were ecstatic over the sunshiny treat on that frigid Winter day. Tasted like Spring was on the way.

Pumpkin Bread. Dessert Corps.

Feb 11. was Pumpkin “Bread” with Chocolate Chips. Seasonal and sweet, one of the best flavor profiles around.  It was a new treat for many of the diners, but now surely at the top of the list of favorites.

My oh my! Chocolate Pie!

Feb 18 was (Oh yeah!) Chocolate Pie week.

Yummy Whipped Chocolate Pie

Both versions were enthusiastically enjoyed. Part of the fun of this project is seeing how many ways a dessert can be made.

3 (frozen) apple pies make a reapperance

We had some Apple Pies and an Apple Crisp in the freezer (from a week when we had many pies but very few clients due to a special “holiday” meal for Polish homeless people sponsored by a local pro-life group that was coincidentally scheduled for the same time as the soup kitchen meal.) We busted them out to supplement the chocolate pies (We were a little short on volunteers this week). One of the goals in the soup kitchen is to not waste any food. Sometimes, due to random circumstances like unplanned donations or a small group of diners due to severe weather, we have leftovers. The soup kitchen has several freezers which allows us to put stuff away for future use.

Apple Crisp-a-licious

Apple Crisp-a-licious

The apple pies and crisp were defrosted and heated up and served alongside the Chocolate Pies.

Portioning the Pies

Portioning the Pies

Once the meal is being served, the kitchen crew gets an approximate count of the diners and then starts to plate the desserts.

Apple slice ready to be served. Chocolate Pie waiting to be sliced.

Apple slice ready to be served. Chocolate Pie waiting to be sliced.

Apple Pie on its way out to the dining room.

Coming soon to the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen. Pear Pie.

Coming soon to the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen. Pear Crumble.

Next week. Feb 25, we are inviting volunteers to get crazy with Pears. We are looking for 10 pear desserts, be it Pear Pie, Pear Crisp, Pear Cobbler, or Pear Cake. That’s right, its gonna be pears, pears, pears, pears pears this week; at “press time” we still need 8 more volunteers.

The March calendar of  desserts will be:

Feel free to hit us up with ideas and suggestions for dessert themes.

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Historical Greenpoint Reformed Church Drum. Circa 1848

Historical Greenpoint Reformed Church Drum. Circa 1848

Sound the drums folks. Bam. Bam. BAM… Last Saturday Craig’s Kitchen hosted our first fundraising event (Yeah!) and it was a super success!

People searching for swaps

People searching for swaps

The Stuff Swap was a combination of recession-busting “shopping”, fund-raising for the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen, and general community-building.

Swapping stuff at teh Greenpoint reformed Church

Swapping stuff at the Greenpoint Reformed Church

People participated by bringing some great stuff they no longer used or wanted.  And then taking other stuff that they wanted/needed. It was a solid swap event. There was great books–fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks and more, cool kitchenware, some furniture, and clothes, clothes, clothes. (I personally scored a cool new jacket, a couple of fancy “work” blouses, new plates for the house, a crazy nice serving platter, a new grill, and some great new cookbooks. My boy scooped up even more great finds…)

People checking out the stuff

People checking out the stuff

If you missed the good times and great finds, no worries because the event was such a stunning success, so there will most likely be many more swaps in the future.

Baked goods provided by dessert Corps

Baked goods provided by the newly launched Dessert Corps

The Dessert Corps provided yummy treats to fortify “shoppers”.  There was Carmel Corn, Cheddar-Jalapeno Corn Muffins, Sweet Cherry Corn Muffins, Bacon Corn Muffins, Apple Pie Bars, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Cupcakes.

What would Obama do?

What would Obama do?

If you would like to see more pictures from the event (and the soup kitchen), check out this Flickr set.

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