Monday, February 23, 2009

Billy, part 2. and Isaac

another real time post about chicken minestrone created today by Billy and Isaac.  we cooked the chicken in a separate smaller pot that Billy happened to bring with him, while the big pot of boiling water received (in this order):  chopped onion and carrots, broken into small pieces spaghetti noodles (the only type we found in the camp), chopped eggplant and red peppers (also donations) + yellow squash (which i found on sale at the sun-rise green grocer.)  we finished with a huge can of diced tomatoes + several small ones and knorr chicken bouillon to taste.

oh, on the end we also added lots of red pepper flakes, and a small jar of mixed spices i usually have ready for the soup making - ground coriander, hungarian paprika, sage, marjoram, oregano, dried dill weed and cumin.  and fresh chopped garlic, of course.  did i say we chopped the cooked chicken and added both the meat and the broth to the soup, too?  Billy's knives are awesome - sharp and just the right, very handy size. 

we all had a customary small bowl on the end of cooking,  and it was very yummy. especially with 'essential baking' bread donated in the last minute by a very nice church volunteer, who was there cooking for another project (homeless teen on mondays) - he told us to call Travis at the bakery, to get that day's 'overbake' - very useful information, Billy took notes.

but it didn't start as easy.  when i got to the camp  Richard met me at the gate to say that Rose, his friend, needs help. she has too many bags and is about to be booted from nickelsville. both he and Ricco were busy trying to help  Rose, and both asked if i could help.  they introduced me to Rose, who was standing soaking wet in the rain, overlooking about 20 or more garbage bags full of... something.

Rose was upset, and close to crying, because she was told she is going to be booted from the camp if she doesn't get rid of some of her stuff by 5 pm. it was 4;20 when i learned about it, and the pressure was on.  she just finished tying the bags  on.  'where does she keep this stuff?' i asked Ricco.  'in her tent', he answered.  'so where does she sleep?', i asked puzzled, the pile seemed bigger that her tent would hold.  'she doesn't.  she walks around he camp, her stuff in the tent'. 

both Ricco and Richard felt Rose should be in some nice and warm place, but she has no family to help to find her appropriate place, so she is free to roam the streets and getting stressed out with too many bags.   Ricco got the deadline extended till tomorrow, so i can get back to help Rose put her stuff in the storage - she says it's on the corner of aurora and 205th - it may get us to do several trips, IF she feels brave enough to trust anyone to watch the stuff left behind while we are going there. tonight she said she can trust NO-ONE,  but possibly by tomorrow all will change for the better.

after that back to the soup business:  found the soup bucket behind the kitchen tent, dirty, but that's all right - we would wash it in the church kitchen.  Richard asked some young man if he could help with the soup cooking.  'yes', came the replay from a bit troubled but somehow hopeful face  - that was Isaac, i had never met him before; he said he is still waiting to be admitted, and looking for Billy.

now Billy waltzed in, a smiling ray of sunshine, as always:  'hey, Isaac, wanna help with the soup?'  'sure, as soon as i get settled in'.  Billy is now a tent master; he told Isaac they can pitch his tent later, then threw Isaac's and his own backpack  into my car (they both hoped for the church shower at 5, if line not too long- i suppose the backpacks contained change of clothes.)

Isaac told me he was waiting since 8 in the morning to get accepted in the camp. in the kitchen we had a small talk about his origins:  small town in utah, salt lake city area, no jobs, no perspectives. it's his second time in seattle, he is not quite sure what to do with his life, would like to go to culinary school downtown seattle, as he was working restaurants most of his 29 years life on this earth.  when we tasted the soup Billy present-mindely asked: 'when was the last time you ate?'  'yesterday', Isaac answered.  

on the way back to the camp Billy turned quite hilarious seattle guide:  watch out, Isaac, here is an important  seattle LANDMARK:  girls dorm!

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