Home-cooked spirit of charity
By James Card
It is a weekly ritual for two sisters, Sue King and Patty Morien, to arrive at Foundations for Living bearing homemade soup, desserts and other foods every Monday morning.
Last week they arrived on Tuesday. They were snowed in from the weekend weather. They brought in a St. Patrick’s Day soup made of ham, onions, cabbage, carrots, celery, potatoes and lasagna pasta cut into the shape of shamrocks.
Morien made a plate of green shamrock cookies. They also stop at the supermarket and pick up extras: usually a loaf of bread and lunch meat so residents can have soup and sandwich.
King lives in New London and is a retired EMS professional and Morien is from Weyauwega and is a retired nursing home activity director.
King makes the soup and Morien bakes the cookies, brownies and cupcakes.
They are into their second year of providing home-cooked contributions to the social service organization.
So far King has made 18 kinds of soups. She tries to use recipes with seasonal and holiday themes. At Christmas was Gift of the Magi soup, a pasta-based dish. Her most popular was jambalaya composed of a chicken-broth base with shrimp, sausage, ham, rice and hot sauce.
Her favorite recipe was a stone soup that was influenced from the folk tale that celebrates sharing a little bit of food to make a meal that everyone can enjoy. King founded a children’s garden where they teach children to grow food. During the harvest, they gathered and shared the vegetables to make stone soup for the Monday morning drop-off.
“She has her big pots on the stove. She’s a soup machine,’ said Morien. King uses a three-pot system: one for stock and vegetables, one for pasta or potatoes and another for meat. Once each pot is finished cooking, she blends them together and flavors as needed.
She doesn’t write down her recipes, a habit she got from her grandmother.
“You taste it as you cook,” said King.
Not only do they drop off home-cooked food at Foundations for Living but also they look after their neighbors going through tough times. Most recently their neighbors have battled cancer and experienced the death of a loved one. Morien enlists her granddaughter Rose to help baking the kitchen and then Morien drives a riding lawnmower with Rose riding in the trailer and they deliver baked goods to their neighbors.
“It’s important to instill in her,” said Morien. “In think it’s important for people to know, especially the younger generation, that we always can give. Be it with a kind word or a card in the mail, a plate of cookies, apple pie, a quart of soup. They should know that there are other people out there that don’t have as much as we do and know the importance of giving. It’s sprinkles of love.”
The good life
“If you want to have a good life in this life you have to do good things. It isn’t money. It isn’t riches. It isn’t abundance. It isn’t these little things that people are so addicted to. It’s just being kind and doing good things. Foundations has provided for a lot of people and we’re just given an opportunity to be a part of it. They deserve all the credit for this. We’re proud to play a small part in this,” said King.
“We’re blessed and happy to do it. We sleep good at night knowing that homeless people in the area have a roof over their head and a warm bowl of homemade soup,” said Morien.
Next on the menu: Morien, an expert gardener, has an asparagus patch composed of three rows of 50 roots and King is planning to make cream of asparagus soup.