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Apples and oranges …

… and flash-frozen corn.

Yesterday a couple dozen Bay Area food bloggers got together to volunteer at the San Francisco Food Bank (900 Pennsylvania St), packing cosmetically undesirable (yet still entirely edible) fruits for distribution, and then bagging and packing miniature corn cobs (or, "cobbs" as it were) one dozen at a time.

I think it’s wonderful that, whereas many other cities’ food banks can handle only canned and dry goods, the SFFB goes out of its way to incorporate lots of fresh produce in their program. There’s no reason the beneficiaries of food banks should be subject to an unhealthful diet due to their circumstances.

This was pretty hard work, no doubt, and at times outright disgusting. Most of the apples were in good shape, but a whole lot of the oranges were squishy or, worse, completely covered in powdery or hairy mold. Seems like I just posted my confession about how I feel about oranges, and fate dealt me this card. Guess I better not say anything about how I feel about car accidents.

The corn bagging was more fun. We set up assembly-line stations to put stickers on bags, which in turn got filled with a dozen half-cobs, then sealed with a tape machine and finally boxed up for distribution. I enjoyed the machine-like process.

Being food bloggers, we obviously know how to handle food. We processed more than a ton of apples and oranges, and plowed through the entirety of our tasks in significantly less time than originally slated.

After, we all headed to Yield Wine Bar (2490 3rd St) for a little sipping, snacking and socializing. We sampled some excellent edibles, including a delish sausage from Fra’Mani; some super ham from Fatted Calf; rich, salted dark chocolates from Poco Dolce and really phenomenally good chutneys from McQuade’s Celtic Chutney. Not to mention top-notch bartendressing from hostess with the mostess Sam.

Involved and interested as we all are in food, it was rewarding to get hands-on and do something that will help put food in the mouths of those who might otherwise not get enough. It’s also bigtime fun. We worked like dogs and drank like fish. But boy, am I sore today.   

Related: See what other food bloggers present had to say about the experience: Our intrepid hostesses Amy and Sam, Christine of Albion Cooks and Joy the Restaurant Whore. Plus, an interesting reflection on the part of Marc of Mental Masala on mycology as it pertains to groady moldy oranges.

One year ago today ... we dished up some perfect pizzas.

  • NS

    Sean: It was great seeing you again yesterday — thanks for the great photos and writeup. I hope that we can meet up again sometime soon!

  • Sam was the bartender?
    %$&#!…I always miss all the fun…

  • NS: Definitely! It was the most fun I’ve had doing physical labor. And do let’s synch up for a sip and nibble sometime soon.
    David: Well, you’ll just have to fly back for the next event, n’est-ce pas?

  • Alison

    Hi Sean – was great to meet you and put a face to the name…..thanks for the lovely mention!

  • Sean, you’re just as much fun in person as on your wonderful blog!

  • Sean, I wished we’d been introduced! I was merely a participant, not a host. I (foolishly) bailed on Yield, but I’m sure we’ll find other opportunities.
    Take care,
    Catherine

  • I had no idea they handled fresh produce. Very San Francisco, and very, very cool. I’d love to join you next year.

  • Hey Sean! It was great meeting you (again)! Who’d have thought two foodbloggers would discuss using tampons to clean champagne glasses? And that was *before* going to Yield!

  • OMG, I totally forgot about the tampon convo. Guess Yield took care of those brain cells for me.

  • Food Bloggers Wine.Dine.Donate

    Back in September I was a guest at a benefit dinner for America’s Second Harvest , along with a couple