Cooking & Talking: the Magic of Baked Salmon

One more time -I thought I published it on Wednesday; I did not, but do not want to edit the dates now, just imagine, it’s from Wednesday :).

I have lots of things to worry about at the moment: I need to find a replacement for my leaving DBA. I need to complete the end-of-the-year reviews for my team and myself. I worry that my glasses are not ready yet, which can put my surgeries dates in jeopardy. For the next week’s conference, we were asked to shorten our presentation to 18 minutes. 

I have a lot of things to worry about, but I am not going to. Because what I am thinking at the moment is the last night’s dinner in the Open Door Shelter. 

A Baked Salmon is always a hit, along with mashed potatoes, and when I make baked salmon, I always purchase it myself and bring in to the shelter in the insulated bag. 

When I entered the kitchen, it was empty except one girl who never showed interest in cooking with me, and would always make her meal, when I was making dinner with the others. 

— Hi, what are we making today? – she asked. 

I realized that, like many others, she didn’t want to compete for my attention and approached me only when there was nobody else around. I pretended to be not surprised, and we started peeling potatoes together. Later, other young people arrived and joined us. My most favorite staff was present, which always makes my job easier. 

All the easy tasks: lay the foil in the baking sheet, cut the lemons, chop the onions, make it easier for multiple people to feel that they are included in the process. Even now, on my way to work, I am smiling recalling their yesterday’s exchanges:

— Is it ready? Shouldn’t the salmon be darker?

— Shut up, she knows what she is doing! She is a pro! 

— Can’t you wait? Do you thin I don’t want a second? But I am waiting. We need to make sure everybody got a piece, and then go for seconds!

As always, there were a couple of people who tried salmon for the first time, and as always, the fish was gone fast, with only aluminum foil left 🙂

Another treat was that the girl who was in the program last year came in to lead a group activity. I was thrilled to see her. Most of the time, I have no idea how it turned for those who graduated from the program. It was a delight to learn that she is attending college and that she is giving back.

We sat and talked about the goals for the new year, about plans and hopes. And then there were hugs and goodbyes, and see you next time. 

The staff walked me downstairs and even outside. And as much as I am annoyed when my mother says she will wait till I turn around the corner, it feels different when leaving the ODS.

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