It is National Volunteer Week in Canada I got to kick it off in the most spectacular way! Last night, a group of 20 of the finest people I know gathered together in a kitchen downtown to make some soup for Women's Habitat of Etobicoke with the support of four great volunteers from Soup Sisters.
"Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers are year-round programs where participants pay a $50 fee to receive training from respected Chefs, the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art professional kitchens, an enjoyable dinner paired with a complimentary selection of wine, and most importantly the sense of gratification that comes from helping others. Approximately 150-200 servings of soup are prepared and donated during each session." (via)
We were greeeted by four kind volunteers Margareth, Debbie, Mary and Betty. They gave us aprons to wear and elastics to get the hair out of ou faces. We started the evening chopping vegetables and then started to cook our soups.
Outstanding volunteer Debbie from Soup Sisters adds herbs and spices while I stir the Spicy Jamaican Pumpkin Soup.
My Soup Family! Soup Sisters Munira, me, Saira, Marta and our Broth Brother John!
While the soups cook and gets pureed, Munira and I take a seat and get ready for dinner.
Actual sisters Saira and Munira!
Chick Pea Soup! A most delicious dinner!
Chick Pea Soup Sisters Mary, Rena, Samantha, Jess and Anisha. Their soup fed all of us and there was still plenty for Women's Habitat.
Hamburger Soup. This tasted exactly like a hamburger and was so yummy! I want to make this one for my Mom with a side of fries of course!
Hamburger Soup Family! Wendy, Joelle, Amanda, Marta and John. If you look closely, you will see that Marta is glowing. She's got twins under that apron!
Tasting the Spicy Jamaican Pumpkin Soup!
My Spicy Jamaican Soup Sisters! Ruth, me, Debbie, Munira, Saira and Mary.
The sisters that made the Curried Sweet Potato, Carrot with Red Lentil and Ginger Soup. Dawn, Melanie, Sophia, Vaso, Leslie and Tamar.
Look what we did! The greatest part of this experience was the evening's cast! People from all parts of my life came together, cooked and connected. We've promised to meet again next year and make more soup. Pictured above from left to right:
John - Fellow Toronto Blue Jays fan, founder of the world's first ever Pamphlet Club and hubby to my book club mate Marta.
Marta - Mommy-to-be and my book club friend.
Amanda - Co-worker of my friend Joelle.
Ruth - A great lady who works with volunteers at Yonge Street Mission.
Leslie - Another great lady that works with volunteers at the CNIB Library.
Joelle - One of my cheerleaders in life who also works with volunteers at the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
Samantha - Girlfriend to the brother of my co-worker Aaron's girlfriend Jess. (So perfectly random!)
Wendy - Works with Ruth and the volunteers at Yonge Street Mission.
Jess - Girlfriend of my co-worker Aaron and also a fellow Toronto Blue Jays fan.
Tamar - Co-worker to Dawn at the University of Toronto.
Dawn - A peer of mine for many years.
Vaso - My jolly friend and co-worker at Surrey Place Centre.
Mary - Mary works with volunteers at the Central Eglinton Community Centre.
Melanie - My friend, confidante, gym buddy and co-worker at Surrey Place Centre.
Sophia - Bride-to-be, friend and former co-worker. We both used to work at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Munira - President of the Faiza Kanji fan club. Knower of my heart. My life line. Justin Bieber lover!
Saira - Funniest woman I know. One of my most intelligent and kind friends.
Moi - Grateful for this picture, this moment, the people around me.
Anisha - My university roommate and new mom!
Rena - Anisha's best friend and one of the best stagette planners EVER!
Check out www.soupsisters.org to see if there is a kitchen near you! If not, start one!