Soup and Bread

Soup & Bread TV, Episode #1: Care Kitchen Chicago

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Soup & Bread is going online. Because, why not.

Every Wednesday for the foreseeable future, tune in to the Hideout streaming channel at 6 pm Central for half-hour chats with local people (and a few outsiders) about what they’re doing to help ensure food security in their community. People who feed people, in other words, by cooking for them, distributing  groceries to them, growing their food, and more. Each “episode” will offer an opportunity to donate to support a local food security initiative and to support the Hideout staff to boot.

For our first guest, we’re covering both bases and keeping it SUPER local, with our own Jessica Romanowski, Hideout bartender and culinary entrepreneur extraordinaire. After the Hideout closed in mid-March, Jessica immediately turned her formidable skills to cooking and distributing free meals to her neighbors in Garfield Park, Austin,  and elsewhere in the city under the name Care Kitchen Chicago. Her work started out small but has blossomed over the last ten weeks into something miraculous and inspiring.

I talked with Jessica on Sunday morning, May 31, the day after downtown protests against the murder of George Floyd, racist policing, and centuries of oppression of Black people brought thousands into the Loop and escalated into police violence and arrests. With a curfew declared and the city in distress, that morning she was trying to figure out how to mobilize her volunteer network to best feed and nurture people on the front lines of this struggle. Later that day the South and West sides were devastated by looting, and Chicago Public Schools cancelled its free grab-and-go meal distribution, citing public safety concerns. In the two days that followed Jessica and her crew packed and distributed hundreds of bag lunches to kids and families from pop-up distribution sites in  Garfield Park and South Shore. Jessica is amazing, in other words. Watch the whole interview below to hear her speak in her own words about what she’s been up to these past few months, and what it means. And, BONUS, hear her describe some of her phenomenal cooking.

She shared this recipe, from a recent care package delivery, in the hope of adding a little sweetness and pleasure to your day-to-day.

CHOCOLATE CHUNK ZUCCHINI BREAD COOKIES
Makes 8 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter, browned then cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoons salt
3 zucchini, grated (approximately 2 cups of grated zucchini)
2 cups bittersweet chocolate, shaved or chunks

DIRECTIONS

  • First you will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • Next you want to cream your butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Then you want to add the eggs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into the butter mixture, gradually; mix well.
  • Stir in the zucchini.
  • Fold in your chocolate
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls with two (2) inches between each cookie—onto the cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Overbaking will give you a crispier edge after cooling.
  • Let stand to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove and place on wire racks to allow to cook completely.
  • This recipe makes a lot but is easily halved to make 4 dozen instead of 8!

Posted: Wednesday Jun 3,2020 09:27 AM In Soup & Bread TV

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