Memory lane – grab the tissues

Today I was sorting through folders upon folders of images when I came across a pic which reminded me of an incident last year, before the website was up and running.

One of the men in our Witpoortjie soup kitchen queue approached me as I stood watching the volunteers serve bread and soup. He had been a regular for about two years and he always stood out because of the broad smile on his face, his spectacular cap and his blue guitar.

He took my hand and pressed something into it, closing my fingers around whatever it was. He said “Because you care too much. Too much.”. He shuffled back to his place in line.

Mildly bewildered, I eventually opened my hand to see what he’d given me. It was a R50 note.

Much folded, much fondled - this very R50 note.  I may frame it as a reminder.
Much folded, much fondled – this very R50 note. I may frame it as a reminder.

I was utterly useless for the rest of the morning. I just sat in the car and let the tears slide down my face behind my dark glasses, hoping no-one would notice.

Such a gift, from someone who barely has a roof over his head, who limps because he has had a stroke and can hardly play his beloved guitar anymore because his strumming hand has seized into a claw, such a gift is gold.

From someone who can no longer hold down a job and is sufficiently hungry to have to stand in a food queue week after week, such is the gift of affirmation.

The gift of knowing I am reaching people.
The gift of recognition and the gift of love.

Praise songs just sound better when played on a blue guitar. And utterly from the heart.
Praise songs just sound better when played on a blue guitar. And utterly from the heart.

He brought his guitar the following week but was too shy to play in front of the crowd, instead he played and sang for us after we’d packed up. Once again there was not a dry eye in the car on the way home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honestly, I don’t think there has been a single soup kitchen since I started where I have not experienced something new, unexpected or humbling. Not one.

If you’d like to join us at soup kitchen one Friday morning, do drop us a line, it is bound to be a lingering experience.

Odd Plate Dinners – launched with a bang!

Ok, so we used this quote for the Disco Soup post – but it felt right to repeat it again here:

“In order to save the planet you have to throw a better party than the people who are ruining it.” (Tristram Stuart, environmentalist).

Drumroll… we finally presented the first NOSH Odd Plate Dinner last week – and what a fabulous evening it was!

The purpose of these funky fundraising dinners is to create more awareness and interaction around the global issues of food waste and hunger and the role NOSH is playing in alleviating them.  We curate a relaxed setting for diners to enjoy a delicious three-course plated dinner prepared by a professional chef given free reign with the rescued and surplus ingredients in the NOSH kitchen.

The menu ended up looking like this:

Welcome:
New England Sours jam jar cocktail
Graham Beck Brut MCC
Butternut shooters

Welcome drinks
Butternut shooters
Welcome Table Decor

 

 

 

 

Entree:
Poached flaked salmon on a bed of seasonal leaves with a spicy apple and pineapple salsa, kombucha vinegar and pomegranate.

Poached Salmon entree

Main Course:
Vegetarian magic –  Bombay curried potatoes, Thai turned carrots in coconut milk and lemongrass, grilled asparagus, butternut pearls ‘parisienne’  with cinnamon and a citrus dressing and balsamic roasted skin-on beetroot wedges.

You’ll have to imagine the deliciousness, the photographer had a bit of a flash-fail!

Dessert:
Sweet Trio – Denise’s Apple Pie with custard and Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit

The final Sweet Trio

Mouth-watering fare!

Why a Tuesday night?

We decided to hook our first event onto World Food Day, which is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945. They are doing important work and #ZeroHunger is priority nr. 2 on the list – as it should be!

FAO Development goals

We liked the almost-middle-of-the-month almost-middle-of-the-week though, there’s not a lot of competition from other events, so we’ve decided to aim for every Third Tuesday of the month. Keep an eye out for the flyers (or sign up for the mailing list) – 20 November 2018 is the next NOSH Odd Plate Dinner!

There was also a goodie bag for every guest, as well as a lucky draw – congratulations Nothile, have fun with your prize and see you next month!
Thanks so much to the contributors: Mo Sense Stationery, LeCrayon, Ronald Mkhize, Jenny’s Fine Art Studio, Pat Pughe-Parry and Aeiden Swan – your support really is appreciated!

THANKS A MILLION!!

Many people gave graciously and generously of their time and expertise to make this first event a success, so oodles of thanks go to all involved! We’d like to single out a couple of folks though. Chef Owen Jullies – obviously, we couldn’t have done it without you and we look forward to many more Ready-Steady-Cook Tuesdays! Anastasya Eliseeva  for the funky flyer design, Tisha van Wyk for the sparkling decor,  Tara and Julian for their soulful tunes,  HTA School of Culinary Art for lending us some of their students for the evening and last but most definitely not least, the One Green Corner Minions for all their hard work before, during and after – you really looked cute in those little aprons 😉

See you at the next event!

The stunning table decor.
Tara and Julian, our fabulous musicians for the night.
A different view.
Welcome table centrepiece.
Candle light is soft and kind – and there was plenty!

Disco Soup!

Why “Disco” Soup?

“In order to save the planet you have to throw a better party than the people who are ruining it.” (Tristram Stuart, environmentalist).

On the 28th of April 2018 Nosh collaborated with Slow Food Youth to host the first South African Disco Soup event at the Moletsane Garden in Soweto.

Yesterday, we joined in with another Disco Soupe event, this time organised by the Alliance Française in Parkview.

We got stuck in and completely forgot to take decent pictures, but as there were lots of photographers and videographers around, we’ll share the links to the official footage when we get them!

Events like this are great way for people who care about food as well as about their own impact on the production, consumption and waste thereof to interact with like-minded people. Food Activism at its funnest 🙂

Nora, Melissa and Jodie – the crop of volunteers for the day – made great Prison Peelers and  Rock Steady and his crew kept everyone bopping – we can’t wait for the next one. Hands up, who wants to host a Disco Soup in their town?

Welcome to the Nosh Food Rescue Chronicles!

 

Hi, my name is Hanneke and I am a rescuer. Of All The Things.

To give you an idea of the occasional absurdity of it – I saved a cooler box full of ice cubes from melting, not wanting to waste the embodied energy, so I lovingly (and freezingly) scooped it all out of the icy water and into bags to be put back into the freezer. Enough said.

Close friends and family joke about my picking up ‘Lame Ducks’ and the term ‘One of Hanneke’s Waifs and Strays’ gets bounced around a lot. I’ve been active in Animal Rescue and all my pets are shelter kids. There’s even a couple of ex-battery hens. Growing up in the Netherlands our parents brought us up to be thrifty and the progressively more commonplace concepts of Recycle, Re-use, Re-invent and their like were well entrenched at a young age. I rescue broken tiles for mosaics, old tyres for planters, plastic packets for crocheting mats – you get the drift.

I also love food. So is it any wonder that I rescue it, too?

Living in a country like South Africa which has such glaring inequality, poverty and widespread food insecurity has fuelled my innate activist nature over time and things came to a head when I helped out at a friend’s soup kitchen in 2015. What was meant to be a once-off 3-day stint escalated fast – I was just not able to turn away anymore.

What you are reading now is the beginning of the Nosh Food Rescue Chronicles. These ramblings may or may not see the light in chronological order, but either way I hope to catch up to the present day fast, as there are lots of exciting projects that are close to seeing the light and we’d love to have you along for the ride!

Hanneke