Soup Kitchen Comfort Food
When my husband and I moved to “the last dog-patch in Boulder,” we started inviting our friends over for Sunday Soup Kitchen.
Our neighborhood is one of Boulder’s oldest and is mostly small older houses that were being used for students. Not any more. The neighborhood is close to downtown which means it’s quickly transitioning from student housing to people who want to be able to walk to everything in Boulder which is why my husband and I bought our house–a cottage that is small but very well located. However when we first moved here, as a joke, we started inviting our friends over for Sunday supper saying that we were inviting them to the soup kitchen section of town and then we literally served soup.
It’s been six years now. We manage to do 6-8 soup kitchen events in our house every year about once a month, except in summer. We invite different friends–getting around to repeats about once a year. We still serve soup and rolls and homemade pie. It has become an event. Almost no one turns us down unless they are going to be in Timbuktu or a similar distance on the date. That makes me smile. It’s fun to have great friends.
Here’s what I’ve learned about hosting Soup Kitchen Sundays. The food doesn’t have to be restaurant quality. It just needs to be good and plentiful. Do that and people will linger. They’ll talk. They’ll eat 3 rolls apiece with jam–something they never-never do on a regular day. And they’ll come back.
It has made me a believer in the power of comfort food. It has made me appreciate old family recipes–my rolls have been handed down 3 generations now. It also proves you can make family out of good friends.
So . . . here’s my three-generation the roll recipe. May it live on in other kitchens!
2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 T butter
10 cups flour
3/4 T salt
1 cup warm water
3 T yeast
1 t sugar
Add milk to sugar ad butter. Beat eggs. Add yeast and 1 t sugar to warm water. When butter and sugar are dissolved in milk, add egg and yeast mixture. Beat flour, one cup at time, into milk mixture until firm enough to knead. Then turn out on breadboard and knead until it makes a smooth soft dough. Put into greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk. Shape, and let rise again. Bake 350 degrees until brown–about 20 minutes. Here’s the real secret—butter the bottom of the pan. Also butter the tops of the rolls before they go into the oven.