Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A "Food Not Bombs" Dinner Invite

Well, I had read about it for years on the net and was always just a wee bit curious as to what it was all about. Feeding humans for free can't really be all that controversial can it?
Apparently so...... I read that "Food Not Bombs" was at one point, considered to be a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. Perhaps that was many years ago, when even John Lennon was considered a "suspicious" person by the U.S. Government. Perhaps passivism was not quite in line with those who had a penchant for "war".

But anyway, my family and I were invited the other day to a "Food Not Bombs" community dinner to be held in a local politician's head quarters who would get some good free publicity from the event.

So, remembering the event at the last minute, I convinced the family to join me in an adventure at our very first invite to a "Food Not Bombs" community dinner. As we arrived, I noticed that several of the dinner guests had arrived on foot or by bicycles parked near the tidy white building. As we entered the politician's domain, the dinner guests had sprawled around a few haphazardly placed rough wooden tables and chairs. Most were chatting quietly and scoping out the looks of the other unfamiliar attendees. The dinner guests, a colorful array of local humanity,.....no two alike, each with a different world view, a different kind a life, home and way of being. No talk of economics or stock market fluctuations could be heard. Just forks scraping plates and jesting between those who happened to know one another. Fertive glances towards those, like my family, who didn't know our way around. Glad to see that the courageous gal who had invited us, was there too, happily hosting and welcoming the motley crew.

No paper plates, just real Correlle and a hodege podge of unmatched over-sized ceramic plates to claim as we made our way to the buffet array of vegan dishes. Some were hot..... some were cold... but all were very clearly prepared with love and concern and a certain spartan determinism.

You see, all of the food that was used to prepare the dishes served at the "Food Not Bombs" dinner was donated by local businesses, and generous individuals. I was informed in advance that the meal would be vegan, but I must admit that I was unprepared for the delicious and broad array of brilliant dishes to choose from.

The only thing I really missed was having "traditional" mayo or salad dressing to add to the great veggie salad. But the silky homemade hummus more than made up for it's absence.

A radio turned to a local pop rock station floated and bounced tunes round the room. The guests outnumbered the wooden chairs, so we sat down on the edge of a landlocked dock out back.... taking in the cool breeze and bright evening sunlight dancing on the wild grasses just behind the landing.

Munching on my vegan feast, I mused quietly.Can it be possible that we can really "just feed" other humans, without having some kind of ulterior motive? Can it really be this simple, just to invite other humans for a meal, prepare the meal and be ready to dine in style with perfect strangers? It's so amazing, I hadn't heard anyone talk about  money for the entire meal. No collection plate is passed and no tickets were sold for the event. Just free food, for free humans. Amen sister. Amen brother.

The vegan feast included a hearty veggie salad complete with dark leafy greens, tomatoes, sesame seeds, and chopped fresh mushrooms. A dollop of homespun hummus smoothes it all out.
Then there was a potatoe and kale hash dish, warmed and comforting. A wholesome dish, that I don't really know the name of,  contained veggies and ripe red kidney beans. All and all, the meal was fresh and complete.

 There were several other dishes and a pot of soup that I didn't get a chance to sample, as I was simply just too full from the monster size salad and bean dish.
For desert there were fresh local pears, shiny vegan chocolate cake, of which my son helped himself to two slices, and a crunchy apple crumble in abundance.

How can all this be vegan, so tasty and satisfying and still be "free"???

Well, as nerve wracking as it can be to force oneself and one's family to venture into completely new social settings, it was an adventure that I am glad we undertook. To be met and greeted by the lady who prepared the meal and gave us the invite created a good friendly community vibe. Photo ops and thanks were made to the politician who let "Food Not Bombs" use her campaign head quarters at no charge.

I must say that it is ultimately VERY refreshing to meet a group of people who simply believe in feeding other human beings, without any other strings attached.

Not to get too philosophical.....but let me close by saying the obvious: Some folks talk a lot and others folks like me.......sure do write a lot....and then there are those blazing trails with their practical example.

Thank you for the bountiful meal. God bless.