Baking for Street Bean

spinach, feta, and Kalamata olive galettes

We're leaving for Ross Lake tomorrow (yeah!) and won't be back until the end of next week.  I will miss being here.

Until then, I have a little proposition for you.  If you're in the Seattle area, have some free time next week (I'm excluding people by the second, I know) AND want to turn on your oven and bake something (anybody still with me?) for an amazing cause, listen up.

As I've mentioned before, Yancey and I worked for years with street kids in downtown Seattle.  We grew up at New Horizons Ministries (NHM)--learned about intense suffering (and intense joy), learned how privileged we were, and set the course for the things we'll care about for the rest of our lives.  One of the dreams we had while we were there was for kids to have more pathways out of street life.  Without getting on a GIANT soapbox here, it's not enough to tell these kids, "Get a job!"  They are set up to fail in this world. It's pretty hard to go get a job when you don't have a place to shower in the morning (or an alarm clock, a shred of confidence, or a mother who makes you breakfast) and when your life is riddled with addiction, depression, mental illness, or just plain old sadness from being unloved and abandoned.

In the next couple months, NHM is opening Street Bean Espresso on 3rd and Cedar in Belltown.  It will teach kids adaptive and technical skills, they'll be making great coffee, and they'll be loved and mentored along the way.  Our friends Sam and Angie are having a fundraiser for this venture at their house on Queen Anne on Saturday, August 8th.  Angie called me wondering if I could recruit some bakers.  They're going to set up a coffeehouse in their yard--espresso and homemade pastries in return for a donation to help this program get off the ground in time.  I'm making a batch of scones and some kind of coffeecake.  Anybody know a good website where I can get some recipes?  (wink wink).

If you would like to bake something, you can contact Angie at angie [underscore] sam [at] hotmail [dot] com or through her hilarious and insightful blog. If you're contributing, she'd like to know by the afternoon of Thursday, August 6th.  If you're within Seattle city limits, she can come pick it up on Friday the 7th.  I'm going to the event on Saturday morning at 9:00, so you can also drop something by my house anytime next Friday the 7th or early morning the 8th.

Whoo!  There's the details.  I did not hesitate one second in telling Angie I'd like to help with this.  I believe in it and love those kids.  No matter how hot it is next week or how late I have to stay up to do it, I'll be baking with joy.  I hope some of you will join me.

P.S. The galettes featured here have nothing to do with this post except: 1) I made them today 2) I didn't want to do a posting without a photo 3) They represent my love of cooking for others--one is for a friend, and the other for the fire station.

P.S.S.  Oh--you want to know what's in them?!  Saute two cloves of minced garlic in a bit of olive oil for a couple minutes. Add about 6 cups fresh greens--I used half spinach and half copped Swiss chard.  Cook down until totally wilted, about 10 minutes.  Cool, squeeze dry, and coarsely chop the whole mixture.  To that, add 1 c. whole milk ricotta, 1/4 c. crumbled feta, and 1 Tb. chopped, oil-packed sundried tomatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Stir gently.  Roll out crust made from this dough.  Put spinach mixture in the middle, leaving about 1 1/2" on the outside.  Fold dough around mixture, pleating as you go.  Don't worry if it doesn't look pretty.  Brush dough with an egg wash made from one egg + 1 ts. water.  Top with slivered Kalamata olives and a handful of finely grated parmesan. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, until crust is nicely browned and filling is puffing up a bit.  Cool before slicing.