Our 9th Pasadena Community Supper Club. Months ago when we first started, we thought we were merely crazy. Then we assumed we were just lucky. Now? Well, let’s not get cocky. We’re simply blessed - in the way we’ve been welcomed into the community at Centennial Place, by our church partners and volunteers, and through the generosity of our donors.
Hello 2019. Goodbye January. We hardly knew ye.
I (Fred) am not one for sitting down and writing out New Year’s Resolutions. (I am also not one for just sitting still these days...perhaps there’s a correlation.) But if asked to write down one goal for Pasadena Community Supper Club in 2019, it is this: more connection, and deeper relationships, with the women and men we serve at our monthly dinners.
“It’s starting to feel like a community.”
That was the mutually-agreed-upon-yet-independently-arrived-at sentiment of our core group following Pasadena Community Supper Club’s November service and dinner.
It has only been five months, five dinners, no more than, say, 10 to 12 total hours of presence, but something seemed different, deeper, more connected, and more welcome at Centennial Place this past Sunday.
The first of my three consecutive alarms rings on my phone beginning at 5 AM, the two additional ones protecting against an accidental deactivation of the first. To me, 5 AM is as early as you can get up and consider it the morning of a new day. Anytime before that, and it may as well be the night before. But, as I’m discovering quickly, in the Food World - to say nothing of being a parent, or some other person who simply works harder than I do - the earlier the better. There’s always something else that needs prepped, packed, or purchased last-minute.
This month’s Pasadena Community Supper Club dinner could not have felt more different from September’s. (Even the header photo in this post is a change up from the usual low-rent Instagram slideshow I’m normally forcing on you.) You would have been justified in reading a sense of - not frustration, but certainly straining - into September’s post-event recap. I was feeling it. Largely it was self-imposed, given that I insisted on presenting a meal that required multiple days of rather involved preparation. Don’t get me wrong - it turned out well. But this month, things had to change, for the better. I think they did.
I’m only a week (or so) late on getting this update out, and, wow, have I heard about it. Look, I’m flattered. Really. But, seriously, you people are starting to sound a little desperate, telling me how your life is just not complete without your regularly scheduled pre-Supper Club update post. I mean, I’m only human.
Back to reality, where it’s late at night, only a few days before my busiest week yet as a food professional. What’s do I mean by “food professional?” I guess we haven’t caught up in a spell, have we? Let me fill you in.
We are less than two weeks away from the September Edition of Pasadena Community Supper Club - the third installment in the series - which promises to be the juiciest yet. (If you’re new to what we’re doing here, I suppose now would be a good time to let you know that these little updates are neither ghostwritten by E.L. James, nor are we sponsored by TMZ.)
I’m referring to the food. So, what’s for dinner this month, you ask?
A Recap of Pasadena Community Supper Club's August Dinner
The 1990’s blessed us with commercials full of jingles, slogans, and taglines that are simultaneously unforgettable and regrettable. Most of the best of them have to do with food. Or, rather, food-like substances.
For example...remember Bagel Bites?
Up until, say, a year and a half ago, the largest number of people I had prepared a dinner for was, I don’t know, eight? Ten, perhaps? In spring 2017, I started leading a team for Union Station Homeless Services’ Adopt-a-Meal program, where we regularly served 50-60 people during our monthly dinners. In July, a group of us walked into a kitchen and prepared our first Pasadena Community Supper Club meal for three times that many people.
Our first dinner with our neighbors at Centennial Place! To say it went better than expected assumes that we had any expectations at all. A team of five, including myself, spent almost six hours preparing dinner for 150 people. (Centennial houses almost 150, and we wanted to be prepared for anything.)