Cooking Up a Hearty Start to the Day
As a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator, Michele Sheldon Rubio knows how important a proper diet is to a healthy lifestyle, especially if you do not always know when your next meal may be available.
“Breakfast is a pivotal point of the day and often the meal that is so easily cheated,” notes Michele. When she learned of the breakfast program at Our Daily Bread, which serves 150 seniors and individuals with disabilities each weekday morning, Michele knew that she could help design a breakfast menu that would leave the guests with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat --a meal that would provide energy and stick with guests throughout the day.
Cooking is Michele’s way of showing love and caring for other people. At least twice a month for the past four years Michele has been preparing and serving a complete breakfast menu at Our Daily Bread.
As the St. Matthew’s parishioner ladles out hot, buttery grits into bowls, she makes sure the portions are generous. “I try to give a plate that will satisfy and we generally empty the pot,” says Michele.
Her winter menu consists of a choice of grits made with cheese and butter, or oatmeal made with seasonal spices. The meal is rounded out with hard boiled eggs, a meat such as ham or sausage, fresh fruit, and spiced biscuits made from Michele’s secret recipe.
The one thing that really makes Michele’s meal special is her use of spices. “There is something about the aroma that makes people feel better. Certain smells take them back to when times might not have been as tough,” explains Michele.
Michele purchases most of the ingredients to serve the 150 guests twice a month at her own expense, which can equal what most families spend on their own monthly grocery bill, but Michele knows that it is worth everything she puts into it.
“I cannot separate who I am spiritually from who I am in my everyday life, I truly believe everything I have in this life is meant to be shared. I think, if I can give up my $4 coffee drink, then I have enough for 15-pounds of dry ingredients, or two boxes of raw sugar, or all the milk that I need for an entire meal. You see how far a little can go and that makes it worth it.”
Michele who experienced homelessness as a child says she knows what it feels like to be hungry and takes pleasure in the thanks she receives from guests. “I am happy to do it because we are all called to love our neighbors,” says Michele.
The Our Daily Bread breakfast program serves seniors and individuals with disabilities each weekday morning. For more information about becoming a breakfast volunteer, please contact Doris Franz-Poling at 443-986-9031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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