Supper Club 10: The Migration of the Scoob
This last Tuesday marked the third of the month, making it a Supper Club evening. That morning, I had woken especially early, in the sleeper of a tractor/trailer in Greenville, MI, to get my rig loaded up and back on the road to Wisconsin to join in the festivities. I arrived back to town with just the time to shower and help Fanni, Kelly and Ella (the Scoob) transport our ingredients and veggies to the Church.
We were, unsurprisingly, a bit late. The slight stress of the time crunch, coupled with a bit of overtiredness and emotional deterioration from the past 36 hours alone in a truck, had me in a bit of a troubled mental state. At that point, if you’d given me the opportunity to call the whole thing off consequence-free, I’d probably have taken it up. I could sense that my colleagues were in somewhat of the same boat. Fanni had been up late gathering ingredients and taking care of logistics after Ella went to sleep, and Kelly’s mad dash never ceases. Melissa H., thankfully, seemed ready to roll.
And she had to be, as it was only the four of us, with a little over an hour to bring the meal together. My gracious mother met us at the Church to watch over the Scoob while we cooked, and we fired up some tunes and got to business.
Though we’d met the week prior and decided upon a menu, the available veggies told a different story, and we made impromptu decisions to spice it up a bit.
Chicken Fennel Soup
Butternut Squash Risotto
Roasted Mixed Vegetables
Herbed Kale, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad
Four people; five courses; 1:15 to do it. Fanni gave me my first hug of the day; Momrocked the Scoober to a comfortable snooze; Melissa offered a bright smile, and Kelly a confident fist bump. Chance the Rapper spewed raps from the corner speaker as I liberated my chef’s knife from her sheath and started to feel the flow.
Within minutes, I took note of the change in vibe. One of my primary fascinations with Supper Club is its inexplicable, unfaltering healing energy – well beyond human fabrication, but tangible nonetheless. The atmosphere filled with a fennely fragrance as Kelly’s soup manifested. We laughed at a fossilized tray of enchiladas that had been left in the oven by who-knows-who, who-knows-when. Monica and Corrina whipped the dining room into shape, just in time for our first table of guests, whose custom it is to come early and stay late – basking, consciously or unconsciously, in the energy emanating from the combination of the people and the space. I did the same, humming and prepping the squash risotto before turning my attention to the fresh salad.
I looked up from my cooking station. 5-6 folks lounged comfortably in the dining room, and Scoob nursed happily in the back-corner recliners. I returned my attention to the beets for our roasted beet, cauliflower, carrot and zucchini mix.
We approached service time around 5:50 as the roasted veggies finally came to a fragrant completion. I lifted the soup kettle to the serving table, scanning the dining room. A handful of groups had now gathered, including some older Church parishoners and a young family. Scoober chilled comfortably in Monica’s arms, bouncing around and scoping the scene with interest.
The first round of guests had made their way through the line, and the dining room buzzed with energy as the Velvet Underground rocked out from the speaker. I grabbed a plate and made some rounds: starting with the crew from Daddio’s garage, whom have now become our good friends, given the general decrepitation of our old fleet of vehicles. We chatted for a while, and I migrated on. I scanned the scene for my daughter. “Oh, Danny was holding her,” Donna P informed me. “He was rubbing his beard on her head and she really seemed to be liking it!”
Eventually I ended up at a table with Shaun Deezy, a longtime friend I haven’t seen in ages. It was his first Supper Club attendance, and he enjoyed the meal and space before joining me in the kitchen to work on dishes. I looked out once more; taking note of Gordy’s presence, and Scoobins’ new escort – Katherine K.
Back in the dining room, Ella started fussing a bit, and I took her for awhile to calm her and change her diaper. I handed her off to Melissa H., and got on with some cleanup. Eventually, she was walking happily on the counter with Kelly and Melissa, and while I vacuumed the floor, I noticed her spending some quality time with Asher, her relatively new buddy, before making her way to her longtime buddy, Logan Brice.
I again took note of the group’s energy as we wrapped up our vacuuming, sweeping, leftover dissemination and counter scrubbing. A small handful of stragglers remained in the dining room – conversing extensively over some mint tea – and the kitchen crew joked and pounded through dishes. Though we’d all come in a touch resentfully — trapped within our own stresses and the realities of the worldly grind, we’d been transformed. With the trust of the Scoob in a new stranger’s arms, we had trusted in the healing essence of Supper Club, and it had not let us down.