What is RMH? Ronald McDonald House accommodates families whose children are receiving treatment for serious illness at area hospitals. (read more here)
What is the Home for Dinner program? The families staying at RMH are living away from home and with all the stress that they go through, it would be tough to get in a decent meal, managing their time from the hospital, etc. So, RMH has the Home for Dinner program for companies to volunteer their time to cook dinner for the families.
I originally heard of it through my previous employment. I wanted to sign up but the date in which they were planning to go, I was meant to transfer to my new/current position. So, I gathered a group of my friends and we went sometime last year. It was a bit stressful only because it was an old kitchen, things didn’t work, and we also ran out of some items. (Though we had an abundance of some items as well) We definitely went over our budget.
The new Ronald McDonald House building was completed late in 2011. We really wanted to try our hand at cooking for a bigger group. We had an estimate of 70 people given to us. We really needed to plan this out. We haphazardly came up with a menu via e-mail and bought our ingredients and met the day of.
Here is the RMH kitchen. There’s chef Duffy! They actually have 12 kitchens (stove top ovens and sinks) but we were only able to use six. And at the end of the day, we only used 4.
While we waited for our friends, we had our lunch, which is quinoa with eggplant parm. (Although no Parmesan was used, it was actually Havarti) Very yum! I especially loved the quinoa. I cooked it with chicken broth instead of water to give it more of a flavour.
After Amanda arrived, we started with getting everything ready. Just to let you know, it was from 3PM and dinner was to be served at 6PM. Some prep work was done at home (e.g. washing and cutting the romaine lettuce, slicing bread). The three of us (Amanda, Mr.S and I) proceeded to place the bread on trays, pre-heat the ovens (because the new fan-dangled ovens don’t work and tell you the most obvious things – The door is open. – YES, I KNOW!!!). Then we garlic buttered some of the cheese and even included cheese in some of them. Cheese bread was the most popular and we ran out very fast. Eventually Chris came, and we started cutting up peppers, and stuff. Finally Danny and Kelly arrived (who had the tomatoes for us to stew).
– Caesar salad
– Garlic bread
– Ice cream
Mr.S posing while stirring the chili pot.
Chris happily stirring another chili pot. (We had four at one point then they merged into 3)
Danny, just posing. 🙂
Amanda, drinking up the left over lemon juice. No picture of her sucking on the lemon though. LOL. This reminds me of the time where we went to dinner and she slurped the lemon water you wash your hands in… <3
Final results | Assorted bread: garlic bread, buttered bread, and cheese bread. We ran out about 15 minutes into the dinner. I assumed people would grab 2 slices, not a million. This will better prepare us for next time.
FInal results | The salad that we painstakenly washed/chopped and tossed on the day of. We bought way too much. Although someone did take a whole bowl-ful for herself so maybe 7 heads of lettuce for the whole group of people. I will remember to bring more dressing (but they have their own so it’s not a big deal)
Chili!!! (this is from scratch btw)
Slightly spicier chili ahaha!
Plateful of yum.
It was a success. There were about 50 people who showed up. We were out of chili by the end of the night. It seems that the dinner the night before was also chili. Although probably not as successful because we saw their leftovers in the fridge. (smirk)
Their industrial dishwasher. Cleans your plates in under 2 minutes. “It was really fun” to quote Kelly, whose picture I did not post because it would’ve been just a picture of her head covered by her iphone.
Just to give you an idea of how much was spent, here is our tally:
I hope my post inspires you to volunteer for your local Ronald McDonald House! You can also volunteer for movie nights (that’s a weekly commitment though), and lots of other things. I don’t do these things for the thanks we get but it’s always nice to hear compliments from the families after dinner.