Family Climbing Kilimanjaro for TKJ

Back in January, when we were featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer about out fundraiser to stop our foreclosure on our house, Sue and Jim Reichwein contacted me with this idea. They wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for grocery money for The King’s Jubilee. I don’t know how all of this works, but they have a goal to get to the top of the tallest peak in Africa and down safely and at the same time raise at least $5,000 for The King’s Jubilee in store credit at a local grocery store. They left on Wednesday. On Thursday, they were in Qatar, they should be climbing now. Please pray for their safety.

Here is the email they sent out:

Hello everyone,
Jim and I want to fill you in on a challenge that we are excited to take on.  In an effort to honor and commemorate my father, Charlie Graham, who passed away in October, Jim and I are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa.  We leave for our trip on Wednesday and will return on June 2nd.  We’ve been training for this endeavor and are excited to take on this rigorous seven-day climb with high expectations and spiritual reverence.
A more tangible way in which we would like to honor Charlie is by raising money for a gentleman that we have met named Cranford Coulter – a kind soul who lives his life in service to others.  Jim and I have sat with Cranford.  He is the “real deal”, living his life to serve others, even though he has so little.  His actions are inspiring and what we all hope to emulate in our own personal actions every day.  For the past several years, Cranford has shopped and purchased food at local supermarkets, prepared homemade meals and traveled to Center City to feed homeless folks every week.  He’s been featured in several newspaper articles for his selfless acts of kindness and generosity.  [His picture and urls to an article are attached below if you would like additional details.]
 Unfortunately, Cranford’s health issues no longer allow him to maintain gainful employment, and, as a result, he alone cannot afford to purchase the groceries he needs to continue cooking for the homeless.  It is our objective to raise money through our climb and use the proceeds to set up Cranford with an account at his local supermarket.  We want to support him so that he can continue to serve those that are in need of a hot meal without the additional burden of finding funds to purchase food.  Cranford reminds us of Charlie, and we want to honor Charlie through this fund-raising effort.  PastedGraphic-3
Our goal is to raise $5,000 in funds to purchase grocery gift cards where Cranford shops for food in his home town of Souderton.  If you would like to contribute, you can visit the “Woody’s Circle of Care” website at http://www.woodyscircleofcare.org.  The website is set up to accept donations using a credit card.  If you would rather send a check, please make it out to “Woody’s Circle of Care” and mail it to our home address c/o: Jim and Sue Reichwein, 6 Flint Circle, Doylestown PA 18901.
Jim and I are excited to take on this challenge to both honor the memory of my father, Charlie, and to support Cranford’s efforts to help those less fortunate than ourselves.  Thank you in advance for your support and generosity in supporting our cause.
 Love,
Suzi and Jimbo (and the Reichwein crew – Cal, Jake, Casey and Jada)

Of course, if you are reading this here, you may skip the middle man, and donate directly by using the friendly yellow Donate button. You may even use that to set up a monthly automatic pledge.




Flowers for Bunny

I didn’t post what music I was listening to as I made soup yesterday on Facebook. The kitchen was silent. There were no good choices. I was in my kitchen while Brownie was in Phila. funeralizing his wife, “Bunny”. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of a volunteer and supporter who knows how to do such things, The King’s Jubilee was able to provide flowers for the funeral. I have known Brownie for over 20 years. I met him in prison, then caught up with him on the street. He and Bunny, Marilyn Ledger, have been faithfully married for over 14 years by mutual declaration and common law. He stuck with her and cared for her through her battle with cancer. He came out to ask me for prayer for her in December. Last week, when she died, he was beside himself with grief. He had no money for flowers for his beloved and wanted to make sure there were flowers. He remembered the few times that I drove him and Bunny home on cold nights and was so grateful. Memory Eternal.

Pray for Brownie that he will find a way to move forward. Another thing, we need new dishes for him, preferably unbreakable ones. He smashed all his when he got the call from the hospital that Bunny had died in her sleep.

Not Fried Chinese Rice

This dish by Miss April, took some explaining to our men and women on the street. It is not the prettiest, with the black rice. Once a few tried it and the word spread of how tasty it  was, we had no problem ‘selling’ the rest. This recipe does not use soy sauce, because we do not use soy personally, because it is impossible to get non-GMO and the nutritional effects are questionable. If we would not eat it ourselves, we do not serve it to others. The people truly appreciate this. Many had never heard of black rice. Black rice has more powerful natural antioxidant per spoonful than blueberries. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps prevent cancer, heart attacks and Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes what you don’t know about can help you. It pays to try new things.

  • 5 cups black rice or mahogany rice, cook in 10 cups water
  • 1 lb. carrots, shredded
  • 1 bunch celery , sliced
  • 1 large Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 large Spanish onions, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 heads garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. Shitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thin
  • 1 lb. Crimini / baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce)
  • 3 Tablespoons ginger fresh grated
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Saute’ carrots & celery slightly  and transfer to large turkey roasting pan. Saute’ cabbage until wilted, adding coconut aminos and ginger. Transfer to roasting pan. Saute’ onions, garlic and mushrooms, adding salt & pepper, until soft. Stir into pan with other veggies and rice. Cover and keep warm in oven at 200º until ready to leave for the city.




Veggie Topped Mofongo

The Thursday before last, April made this dish for our vegetarian alternative. She wasn’t sure how it would go over, since it is a bit exotic. It is an Afro-Puerto-Rican dish. Of course, she puts her own spin on everything she does. (Where would she get that from? Ahem.) I assured her that enough people had Puerto Rican friends or relatives that they had been exposed to some of this cuisine before. It was very well received. We came home with an empty pan.

Mofongo:

  • 12 large green plantains, peeled, sliced 1/3 inch thick and lightly fried on both sides
  • 2 large root pieces yucca/cassava, peeled, cut in 1″ cubes and boiled until pretty soft
  • 1-1/2 heads garlic, peeled
  • salt and pepper
  • Using a food processor, pulse plantain, yucca, garlic, cooking water, and seasonings in batches. Texture should be like chunk mashed potatoes. Spread in the bottom of a large roasting pan.

Veggies:

  • 8 med-lg onions, sliced
  • 2 lbs carrots, sliced
  • 4 bunches Swiss chard, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup turmeric
  • Working in batches, sauté  the onions and carrots until barely tender, adding part of the turmeric toward the end of each batch. Stir together with the chard and salt and pepper to taste and spread on top of mofongo in pan. Cover and bake @ 350º for  a couple hours.



Lost at Sea

The newest addition to our Lily Gilding series of limited edition art pieces is “Lost at Sea”. It is a bit of a metaphor for my headspace of late. My eyes were crying profusely, as they have been for most of the last few months, day and night. I don’t know if it is because of the pain in my spine or the pain in my psyche due to PTSD, or grieving spiritually for the impoverished state of the fragmented church, or the wars and rumors of wars all over the world; or all of the above; or simply a tear duct disorder. At any rate, it leads to contemplation and it can bring me down. I decided to take a step back and paint with flowers. This is where the bright daylily above led me.

lostatsea

It is a Strawberry Candy daylily bloom as if it had been coated in plastic and caught with a movie camera’s glare, and is in turn, peeking out of an old yacht porthole that is floating in space.

I have not determined yet what form the art pieces will take that will incorporate this print. As soon as I do, this article will reflect that change. I am open to suggestions. Peace.




Eggs Dropped Soup

You read the title right. It wasn’t a typo or a bad translation from Chinese. This isn’t a Chinese recipe at all. There is an old family farm not far from here. They grow vegetables and have a road side stand and they keep a lot of chickens, truly free range chickens. The master of the estate is in his 90s. He still works hard at it and gathers hundreds of eggs each day, not always in the henhouse. He carries them in the bucket back to the house. Sometimes he loses his grip, and some eggs get cracked. He was a child of the first Great Depression, so he doesn’t like to see anything going to waste. His daughter works the farm with him. Our daughter gets the eggs for her household there. She was looking for bargains to hard boil some for the folks on the street. One thing led to another.

chickens-1They started giving us their strictly fresh, cracked eggs. The ones that are intact enough to hard boil, we do so, and chill for the guys on Thursday night. They were happy to get some free range chicken eggs! A number of the men we serve are old time country boys. About a dozen were still fine and fresh, but too cracked to hard boil. I just used them as another ingredient in the soup for last Thursday.

Ingredients:

  • ~1-1/2 gallon of home made chicken broth
  • 10 pounds of ground chuck
  • 1-1/2 dozen free range chicken eggs
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • ~2 cubic inches fresh ginger root
  • 3 large Spanish onions
  • 2 pounds broccoli crowns cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound carrots sliced
  • avocado oil
  • 2 fennel, diced, fronds & all
  • 2 each, red, yellow, orange, sweet peppers
  • 2 pounds radishes, quartered
  • 2 pounds fresh baby spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons Albanian sage
  • 3 Tablespoons turmeric
  • a generous dousing of hot sauce
  • 35 twists of medium grind black pepper
  • water

Directions:

Heat up the chicken broth in the 22 quart stockpot. In a large, cast iron skillet, fry the ground chuck in batches of about 1-1/2 pounds at a time with a diced half onion and a garlic clove pressed onto it. Grate some of the ginger over each batch. Once the meat is almost done, add some of the eggs and mix around with your spatula. Keep frying until cooked, breaking up the hamburger , mixing all the spices and eggs in. Add to the pot. That doesn’t require constant attention, so keep chopping.
Slice the carrots and quarter the radishes and add them to the pot. Cut the tops off the fennel, dice and add to the pot. Cut up the broccoli and add to the pot.
Once you are done cooking the ground chuck, clean the skillet. Saute’ diced fennel bulbs and pepper and any remaining onion in avocado oil, until they start to caramelize. This releases the umami. Add to the pot. You may need to add some water. At some point, you should transfer the stockpot into the double-boiler, canner set-up, to prevent scorching.  Cut up the spinach and stir into the soup. Add hot water if necessary. Add the remaining spices. Add hot sauce to taste. Don’t overwhelm it. We always have a bottle on site for people to add it themselves. You can always add it. You can’t take it out.
Let it heat in the double boiler until you need to load it into the Igloo container to take it to the venue where you are going to serve it.

This soup took all day to make. It was well worth it! The people loved it! I saw something I have never seen before, in over 25 years serving food in the parks. The only cup of soup that someone tasted and abandoned, because it did not suit them, was claimed by someone else after we ran out! Talk about not letting things go to waste!

This was the soup that we served along with Cranford’s Cocoa Madness and Trooper’s Spaghetti and loads of sandwiches and iced tea and bananas and oranges and pastries and peanuts in the shell. Over 150 people showed up. No one went away hungry. We gave three men rides home in the TKJ-mobile, two others by way of SEPTA fare money. Two of the men we dropped off are faithful volunteers who were going to be helping a man move off of the street into permanent housing on Saturday. We sent an Operation: Clean Start bucket and a Kitchen Jumpstart bag along with them. We need to gather more household goods for him and for two other men who recently moved into new digs. Please check our Facebook page or call me to see what they can use.

I am going to state the obvious here.

All of this cooking and serving and gathering of things, and other ingredients, time, and car, etc.,  costs money. You could have a share in this ministry by donating on an automatic monthly basis. I am tired of people telling me how special I am for what I do. I really can’t help myself. I am not that special. I can only give away what other people give me. I am just asking you to feed my addiction. It is you who will be blessed. I pray that God will bless you mightily.




 

Kitchen Jumpstart

When people move off the street into an apartment, it is not like when you moved out of your folks house into your first apartment after college, or when you got married. There are no shower gifts to help stock cupboards. Their are no parents’ homes to go home to, to raid for this or that, or to figure out what you might need, or to borrow  from, until you can afford one or some of this or that for yourself. There is not enough money in food stamps, especially after the GOP cuts, to set up a kitchen to cook from scratch, yet that would save money in the long run. This is why we call our program Kitchen Jumpstart. It gives a family a bit of a boost, just like when you use jumper cables to start a car on an ice cold day. Once the initial charge gets things running, the car may have just enough momentum to keep running on its own power. That is the hope.

This is a great way to participate in this ministry in a “bite- sized” way, as well as to incorporate remembering those less fortunate in your everyday life.  You can buy an item or two each week as you do your household shopping, or all at once, your choice. Remember to pray for those who will receive  the jumpstart and for the peace and safety of their home and yours as you are putting it together. Our first kit was put together by several families cooperating. Here are the contents:

1 large mixing bowl
32 oz. bottle of cooking oil
Package of wooden (3) spoons
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
5 lb bag of unbleached flour
5 lb bag of granulated sugar
Baking soda
Baking powder
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Paprika
Ginger
Granulated garlic
Salt
Pepper
Optional: Copy of a basic cookbook or cooking magazine

We ask that you put it all in a reusable grocery bag and call me to either drop it by or have someone pick it up. May God bless you.

This is a companion project to our Operation: Clean Start.




Cranford’s Cocoa Madness

This started out as a quadruple batch of Quinoa Cocoa Cinnamon Avocado Mango. Tell me about it. That is a ridiculous name to explain to people in a serving line. As it turns out, I was in too much of a hurry at the Produce Junction. I did not properly examine the avocados and mangos. the first few I squeezed and sniffed were ripe. I was in a hurry, so I grabbed more that looked and felt roughly like those in rapid succession.

As they say, Teachable moment: Don’t rush while choosing your fruit. The Avocados turned out to be underripe and a bit hard. The mangos were more tart than sweet. The avocados were so hard that they took so long to peel that the quinoa was done expanding before two of us could finish cutting and peeling them.

I baked the whole dish to try to soften the avocados and sweeten the mangos; then chilled it overnight. I liked it, but I don’t eat refined sugar, so my palate is not average. I feared I would come home with 3/4 of it.  April & the boys stopped by to drop off a Kitchen Jumpstart kit. I asked her to taste it. She said, “Daddy, we need to do an intervention.” So we went to work quickly and made something that the people thought was cookbook worthy. So here is a recipe you can use for tart Ataulfo mangos and hard Hass avocados.

Ingredients: franksredhot

  • 6 cups quinoa
  • olive or avocado oil
  • water
  • 2/3  cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 7 or 8 medium to small, Hass avocados
  • 7 or 8 Ataulfo mangos
  • 3 Spanish onions, diced
  • 2 large green peppers, diced
  • 2 large red peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons oregano
  • ~1 teaspoon  hot sauce
  • ~3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • ~1 pound fresh baby spinach

Directions:

Cut and peel the avocados & dice. Peel & dice the mangos. HaveIn a large stock pot, toast the quinoa in oil. Stir constantly. Do  not let it burn. This brings out flavor. Have 3-1/2 quarts hot water ready to add. Add the water,  cocoa & cinnamon as soon as some of the quinoa appears a darker shade of brown. Stir vigorously. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for 6 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the heat. Add the diced avocados & mangos. Cover.
In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, never Teflon, saute’ in oil the diced onions, red & green peppers, cumin, oregano, hot sauce & vinegar, until onions begin to caramelize.
Combine all ingredients from the stockpot and the skillet, plus the fresh spinach into a large turkey roasting pan.
Bake at 350º for an hour or so.

The flavonoids in cocoa have been shown to aid in arterial wall strengthening, stress relief, relaxation, pain relief, and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Quinoa, avocados, and spinach are all considered “super foods”. So to have three in one vegetarian alternative is quite a coup. A number of the people have grown to truly appreciate the care we take in the preparation of our offerings. We try to do our best and to consider interesting food that we can afford to make, that will be excellent and healthy. It’s not even a Golden Rule thing for me. I am having fun. It is only natural. It is fun! It is right. It is the task God made me for. The Golden Rule only came to mind since I’m trying to write something to get others to get on board.

Quite frankly, I don’t understand why it’s like pulling teeth to get support and why we are always going under. We need more monthly support or we will have to do another house rescue in short order. Pray that my SSDI hearing will come up soon and it will be decided in my favor. That will rescue us. It may be too late, though. You all may have to come out and serve me on the street. I just hope you know how to cook!

Oh yea, the guys loved this dish! While April and I were in the kitchen , it felt like one of those reality shows on HGTV or DIY.  It was a successful intervention! Several of the people said I should write a cookbook. I told them I had already started.




I paint with flowers.

I am back at it with the next in our Lily Gilding series. I don’t paint daylilies. I paint with them. This is a photograph of a Backdraft Daylily, from last summer, right next to our front step, sort of. I modified it using several filters and adjustments, then cropped it just right. I call it Phoenix as it shows the persistence of new life and hope, even in the midst of entropy and crumbling bricks.

When you buy one of these limited edition prints or Zazzle products, know that this is exactly what you are promoting and enabling through the proceeds at The King’s Jubilee. Each time you look at it, be emboldened to hope and to pray for positive change that we may rise from the ashes of our fallenness to see in each and every man, woman and child, a sister or a brother, worthy of dignity, respect, and care.

phoenix

This is a copyrighted piece of original art. It is not to be printed without express permission of the artist. It may only be shared in the complete context of this article, please!  It is quite striking at full size, 12″ x 12″. This is a very limited edition of ten numbered, signed pieces. Please inquire at tkj@shoutforjoy.net for prices and details.

Peace,
Cranford Joseph Coulter

Making Green Tea & Cinnamon Capsules

Grinding Chinese Cinnamon for Capsules
Grinding Chinese Cinnamon for Capsules

Last evening I spent a couple of hours making a couple of hundred 500mg green tea capsules and a couple of hundred 500mg Chinese cinnamon capsules. They ended up costing me about 1-1/2 cents each. They are fresher and more potent than the ones in the bottles at CVS or Rite Aid that are usually priced at over 10 cents per capsule. The ginger and turmeric capsules which I make, actually cost less. I buy the Chinese cinnamon and vacuum packed, Japanese green tea at Assi Chinese Market in North Wales. We get the other spices from a store on an Amish farm in Lancaster County. I also make garlic capsules and coriander capsules. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. I am allergic to six classes of antibiotics , so I rely on garlic. For those on Medicaid who can’t get to a doctor quickly, this is a good alternative, as well. It is also just safer than the prescription ones, if it works. The coriander helps cleanse toxins out of the system. It helps some with blood sugar and a little with inflammation. You are probably thinking that this belongs on my personal blog about the adventures of a renaissance man. I assure you it has everything to do with the ministry.

There is an article on my personal blog on some of the benefits of ginger and turmeric. Both are powerful anti-inflammatories and are useful against arthritis. Ginger is useful in regulating blood sugar and helping the liver. It can reduce the need for Metformin, or, at least, mitigate its damaging side effects. Green tea, in capsule form, can help lower blood sugar rather quickly, by 50 to 75 points in a half hour. This can get someone out of trouble and spare an ER visit if one does something unwise. People with Medical Assistance can get a limited amount of medicines free. They cannot get natural herbal supplements on a prescription. Food Stamps do not pay for them either. They are less damaging to one’s system and end up preventing the need for expensive drugs and medical care. But corporations and vested interests wrote most  all of our health care and aid legislation. I use a lot of these spices and herbs in my cooking for the street, and as fresh as possible. The best way to get these is in your diet, so that you don’t need them as nutriceuticals. I am afraid that The King’s Jubilee is unusual in its approach to nutrition on the street. We keep hoping our approach catches on, but it’s like herding cats, as they say.

I got the capsule makers to save us money and improve the quality of what we as a family were using. I have not had to get Synvisc or cortisone injections in my knees for almost two years since I started taking two 550mg ginger and two 500mg turmeric capsules each day. (I have severe osteoarthritis and no cartilage there.) I haven’t had to take a Ketorolac pill since I found out that ginger can stop a migraine. I couldn’t help myself. I had to share this: the Golden Rule and all. There are a few of the men who have moved off of the street, who help us serve, whom we have gotten to know, whom we now provide with bottles of ginger and green tea and cinnamon, etc. It saves them pain, time off their jobs, trips to the ER, etc. It costs us a little money and some work and time. So much for saving on household expenses. It is so worth it to see their smiles!
smiles