This afternoon after a trying morning with social services agencies, food bank- You Gotta Love Eileen and the Gang down at River City Food Bank. I found myself down at the 29 th Street Ligh Rail Station yet again, normally this is a transition point for me in my travels. The place I extricate myself from a city bus and hustle across the three lane intersection bound for the elevated cement walled maze called the interstate Freeway System- fasten your seat belts ladies and gentlemen – the ride can exceed speeds of 70 -80 mph, with other hurtling motor propelled chunks of high grade shells of composite or metal each independently controlled it could be a major thrill.
So I get my thrill by jaywalking across the three lanes from the 28 th bus shelter to the light rail station directly across the street. It’s a terrifying two minutes and that is all the up close and personal interaction I want with individually controlled fuel burning shells. I prefer the larger ones that carry ,any more at a time and use less fuel for transporting more people. What else can occupy my short attention span anyways? Believe me you don’t want to see me in an automobile in which I have any level of responsibility or control with the exception of buckling the seat belt, windows, and audio controls and map folding on longer journeys. I think automobiles are abominations and absolutely a destructive force when everyone feels entitled to one and using one in that way separates people,isolating them from the social structure and group that our species and those just a a rung away on the Darwinian ladder seem to be organized in. I digress.
So after the second time there today, I ended up at the River City Food Bank. The River City Food Bank is the absolute best in Sacramento. These people give their clients an amazing amount of service, without judgement, questioning, and pity. The volunteers are always cheerful and genuinely interested in the people they serve. It truly does feel like you are being served when you are there. Three Cheers for Eileen and the Crew at River City Food Bank, especially the volunteers. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
My Cal- Fresh ( I know how arrogant MY..) benefits had not yet made it to my card yet so I called Amy over at River City, who helped me with an appointment, she gladly helped and told me she would call and try to figure out what was happening with the benefit. She invited me to stop by and explained they were having a really slow day. I agreed, knowing it. Is rare Friday when the food bank is slow. Friday’s are decent days to go since the food bank is usually shut down on the weekends and any fresh produce must be given away before the end of the day.
After I got there, she had gone on break and I was the only one in there so I got a couple bags of food. There is usually one odd ball fresh item that can throw someone off their game. I mean what is Napa cabbage doing with beef-a-roni ? Being an old pro, literally in the kitchen not much can catch me off guard. Today, indeed was the day, and the gauntlet was down for me to accept. On the gauntlet lay a group of three pale green bulbous roots with a bunch of wilted yellow greenish leaves. KOLRABI, K-o-l-r-a-b-I.
The challenge was on!
What did I come up with, more later. Here is a sneak peek at the finished product or at least one of them. After looking up the framework for a few recipes and cooking techniques I decided on a Kolrabi bread pudding type of dish.
KOLRABI BREAD PUDDING
The ingredients, or my modified versions with what I had in my pantry are as follows,
- 2 Kolrabi Roots (peeled, and quartered or sectioned)
- 2 t. Kosher or Sea Salt
- 1 pinch Nutmeg ( freshly grated)
- 3/4 cup Cream of Mushroom Soup (non condensed)
- 1 cup Sourdough Bread Crumbs ( sliced toasted and processed)
Preheat oven to 350′ F
Get a medium sized pot with lid and fill half way with water. Bring water to a boil, then add Kolrabi pieces. Boil until fork tender ( about 5 minutes). Drain, rinse and purée in food processor with spices ,cream of Mushroom soup, and breadcrumbs. Blend until smooth and thick. Spoon into lightly buttered or 3 oiled 4″ ramekins or small. Pyrex dish. Bake in preheated oven until lightly brown on top and warm throughout. About 25 minutes 30 if in single Pyrex .
Cool for 5 min then serve.
NOTES on the DISH.
The dish itself underwent several modifications based upon the ingredients that I had on hand. The original recipe asked for milk or heavy cream, Neufchâtel cheese, eggs, and Parmesan cheese. I wanted to do mine with a much lower amount of dairy and without eggs. I substituted cream of mushroom soup for the cheeses and dairy and thickened with bread crumbs over eggs.
The Kolrabi is similar in flavoring to other winter root vegetables such as rutabagas, parsnips, or turnips. The flavor is not as sweet as a parsnip but not as sharp as a turnip providing a good balance between the two.
One more plug for the River City Food Bank where anyone is welcomed no questions asked. One does not need to be receiving social services or be on Food Or Cash Aid. If you should find yourself running short one month due to an extra added expense or unplanned emergency they are always happy to help. The three days supply of food they provide does not contain processed foods, “junk foods”, or much anything with refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Generally one receives three breads of ones choice. I found some great Naan bread yesterday. Pasta, or dried noodles, oatmeal, applesauce, some canned items- fruits and vegetables, then fresh vegetables and fruits in season. When you time it right one can get bags of fresh locally grown produce and fruits. Then a protein time or two are given generally in the form of eggs, chicken, pork roast, or beef roll. The final stop is a bit of grab and go your own choice- yogurts, cottage cheese, sauces, or condiments.
The River City Food Bank relies heavily on donations and volunteers to keep it going and can use any resources you may consider for your charitable budget whether time or currency. If you have a large fruit tree that is loaded with extra fruit even a few bags of goodies from it or other prolific crops in the garden are welcome as well . One of the main fundraising events that supports the River City Foodbank is Empty bowls a luncheon that combines contributions from local artists in the form of handcrafted ceramic bowls and local eateries, chefs, and catering companies that prepare different soups to fill the bowls with. This wildly successful fundraiser is always quick to sell out and an event completely unique to Sacramento.