Date Night: Saturday at the “Soup Kitchen” or: Give a Man a Ravioli

stainless-steel-straining-ladle-2It used to be a mill town; the old mills are now condos for the career professionals and unfortunately, the drug dealers. The locals can’t afford to live in those buildings. The church on the corner supplies free meals on Saturday nights. Local churches rotate the duties of cooking, serving meals, and cleaning up.

My husband and I volunteered this past Saturday night. My job was to scoop the ravioli onto the plate, then pass it to the next lady who scooped salad onto the plate. My husband’s job was to serve the plates to the sitting patrons.

(The folks that come in for dinner are told to take a seat, and someone will serve them. Most people are very surprised by this. Of course, it doesn’t help that the plates are piled right on the edge of the table in front of the food…but I digress.)

I remember the first time we worked at the kitchen–I naively thought that everyone who came to get a free meal would be grateful. This is not the case.

Although Lucille* the person in charge, told us to put two ravioli on each plate, I was usually doling out at least three. (Lucille is thin, and I’m guessing doesn’t eat much.) There were not as many people there as usual this week, which worked out fine—since the man who usually donates the bread never showed up—we were able to give a second helping to whoever asked for more.

People started complaining, “Where is the bread and butter? We usually get bread and butter.”

Sorry. Have more ravioli.

“My kid doesn’t like ravioli, don’t you have something else?”

Next thing I know, hot dogs start coming out of the kitchen. With bread.

“Hey, they have bread, why can’t I have some bread?”

Well, there is only one loaf of bread. And we’re using it for the kids.

One of the workers next to me whispered, “If my kids don’t like what I cook, they don’t eat. I don’t make another dinner!”

Some folks didn’t like the salad and threw it away. What a waste!

For dessert, we brought out ice cream. My husband helped with scooping it out. He got to the very bottom, and gave a man one scoop. The man was so upset that he went to Lucille and complained that he only got a small serving of ice cream.

One guy came back for thirds on the ravioli. And he was the only one who said, “Thank you, have a good night” on his way out the door.

I suppose we all have a certain level of expectation of what we think we are entitled to in this life. And we all complain about something. If you have straight hair, you want curly hair and vice-versa.

So, give a man a ravioli, and he expects bread and butter with it. But teach a man how to make ravioli from scratch, and he might be a little more appreciative of the work involved!

* Lucille is not her real name. But you already know that. 😉

Photo was “borrowed” from – go on over to their site and check out the cool stuff!


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5 thoughts on “Date Night: Saturday at the “Soup Kitchen” or: Give a Man a Ravioli

      1. I slept for one WHOLE day, 02:42 AM here, the late shift on my own. But I am content..

        And the way I read it your Hubby was just trying to help. I pains me when I hear of people being given free things to help them not take it as kindness. I guess we must live in these shoes to see their ways?

        Shaun x


  1. It is odd to think that people who have so little are so ungracious when someone tries to help them. Maybe their way of coping is to act like it’s just another restaurant. I guess it must be tough to have to depend on such places and hard on the ego too.


    1. Yes, I was very surprised at the whole dynamic. First off, we “serve” the food to them at the table like a restaurant, instead of going thru a buffet line. I can understand wanting them to feel like they are being taken care of. But then it gets weird, where they expect top service. People are people, I guess, no matter where they are.


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