I hope that it doesn’t surprise you that I am a sucker for a good cause. You see, good causes tend to put these little things called tears in my eyes because when I read something, my mind instantly creates a picture around it. I can envision the smiles that smear across people’s faces when they receive something they weren’t expecting, I envision the wrinkles in the hands of those who have their arms stretched outward waiting to be filled up, and I feel the little spark of joy that jumps into their heart the minute they feel the love that is being offered. Needless to say I am a strong visionary when it comes to those in need…but that’s only because I’ve seen it in action (thank you mom and dad for making our family serve Thanksgiving dinner at the homeless shelter a time or two growing up, I will be forever grateful for those moments.)
So now that I am all choked up, allow me to introduce you to what sparked these tears of mine in Meijer
the other day when I was in the checkout line at 6 freaking thirty am.
It was this. Yes, that. It all started with a pack of gum. But not just any gum–gum that gives back. I personally had never heard of Project 7
prior to seeing this, but oh how happy I am that I’ve discovered it. Any company that believes in doing good is a company that I can get down with. Upon reading up on these cute little gum trays (hello–one pack of gum provides seven meals in America..SEVEN) I thought “heck-if this pack of gum can feed 7 people, certainly I can feed at least 2.” So then I got really ambitious and fed 6.
Naturally I scoured Pioneer Woman
for every fattening I recipe I could find because that’s what I do when I am going to legit cook (ie: make something other than boxed mac and cheese), settled on her scalloped potatoes and ham
, and went to town through those Meijer
aisles at way too early thirty. To balance out the three cups of artery blocking heavy whipping cream and one whole stick of butter, I added a salad into the mix. It’s amazing how healthy a salad quickly makes an entire meal. Bless you lettuce and all of your healthy friends.
Real quick–best salad ever recipe: Take your leafy greens of choice (I used a mix of spinach, romaine lettuce, and who knows what else), throw in some cut up pears, strawberries, and red raspberries, add in a heck of a lot of feta cheese because duh, it’s cheese, and then throw some croutons on top. Allow your guests to decide between Italian or Strawberry Poppyseed dressing and wham bam thank you ma’m..amazingness in a bowl.
This is where the fun begins. I called up my mom and I said “Mom–I am making lunch on Sunday for grandpa and grandma. Come if you want. See you at noon.” Sometimes I think we narrow our vision of “those in need” and look past some of the ones we care the most about, the ones who could use a few hours of love, a hot meal, and quality time well spent. You see, my grandparents live a mere 3 minutes from our house, yet we only see them for the major holidays. Pathetic on my part is an understatement. I’ve gotten really good at saying “Yeah..I need to visit them soon..” and then never follow up. Until this past weekend.
Shawn and I spent Sunday morning preparing a meal for my soon to be 90 year old grandparents, the same ones who used to make me homemade noodles and mashed potatoes as a child. It’s an ironic thing when you start to notice the roles reversing in relationships around you. We got to serve them.. and it was wonderful.
this picture slays me–those wrinkles–that hair
we allow dogs at the table–well, just really cute tiny little dogs
props to my momma for making dessert-apple crisp and ice cream. also known as perfection
four generations right here, dog included
you can judge how good a meal is by how quickly the men fall asleep…obviously it was delicious
my grandparents farm–do you not just die at this country goodness?
I don’t think I will ever forget this past Sunday. To ensure I don’t, I am planning several more similar Sunday’s in the next few months. These people–they are so worth serving.
It’s amazing what a simple pack of gum and a company like Project 7
can inspire. I’ve made it a new personal goal to purchase two packs of Project 7 gum anytime I am in a store that sells it (a full list can be found here
)–one to keep and one to pass on.