How to transfer a tasty dish to other areas so that during transport the products are not damaged without a refrigerator, are not large, but are easy to prepare?
Kropyvnytskyi volunteers solved this problem. The Feed the Patriots initiative has brought together some 300 people who prepare thousands of dry soups and borscht each week for the military, terrorist defense, migrants and residents of temporarily occupied territories. Volunteers shared the secrets of the kitchen and explained how everyone can come together to feed the patriots.
Delights in two shifts
Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine in 2014, the idea of how to pass food to Ukrainian defenders has become convenient: this is how the “culinary hundred of the Kirovohrad region” was created. The dry soup recipes developed at the time were restored in 2022, following a large-scale invasion by the occupiers, creating the “Feed the Patriots” community. Community coordinator Natalia Buryanenko said that in 2014 she and her family had to move from Luhansk to Kropyvnytskyi.
– Our car has already asked us: we constantly bring vegetables for soups and fruits for energy mixes. So on weekdays we deliver and pick vegetables, and on weekends we pick and pack already dried.said Natalia.
Activist Viktoriya Talashkevych explained that volunteers from “Feed the Patriots” dry vegetables and fruits at home in different districts of Kropyvnytskyi for a week, and then take them to the packing site.
One of these packages of soup or borscht is enough to prepare a hot dish for 10-15 servings. The preparation is simple: just pour the mixture into 5-7 liters of water, boil for 20 minutes, add canned meat or fish to taste.
Volunteers, men and women, adults and children, gather on weekends in the office space in the center of Kropyvnytskyi. Before you start working, wear gloves and hide your long hair under scarves and hats.
The ingredients are mixed according to the recipe, carefully weighing all the components. At each table are dried vegetables, cereals and spices according to a recipe. They work with the principle of a conveyor belt: each table takes a recipe for soup or borscht, they place the right ingredients and each of the volunteers makes their own ingredient in the right amount.
Here, the special polyethylene for sealing is converted into packaging, which protects the mixture from moisture.
Work is like a hive, where everyone knows what to do. After sealing, the packages with the mixtures already collected according to the recipe are broken down into boxes, according to the requests of the volunteer organizations. Delicacies, these organizations take them where they need them: to the front, to the defense, to the local residents in the temporarily occupied territories, to the internally displaced.
Recipes with pieces of care
Currently, “Feed the Patriots” already has seven basic recipes for soups and borscht, as well as making mixtures of pills and fruit drying. Some recipes have been made since 2014, but there are also new ones.
– For example, oatmeal soup, which we called “Bayraktar”. They gave us oatmeal, but what can we do about it? So we made a recipe and made another soup– explained Victoria Talashkevich.
That’s why the community is thrilled to share their recipes with everyone – delicious and plentiful. They can be used as inserts for your own products, except by changing your contact information.
I want to feed the patriots!
To support the community, you can donate washed vegetables or fruits, or cut and dry them:
– They bring vegetables from the region, which we are very grateful for. But in remote areas it is easier to dry, cook and deliver these vegetables to the ground than to take them to the regional center, dry them and pack them here, and then take them back to specific advocates.– explained Victoria Talashkevich.
Volunteers are currently drying vegetables at home and the demand for dried soups is growing. Therefore, for a long-term lease, Kropyvnytskyi volunteers are looking for an old workshop or a canteen: a room where dryers can be installed and ingredients for semi-finished products can be prepared in a more coordinated way.
Natalia Buryanenko explained that there is also a close collaboration with other volunteer associations in the city. For example, with the organization “Together we are a force”, which also prepares delicious energy mixes for the internally displaced and the military.
№8 school staff help volunteers a lot, drying the bread depending on the institution: fresh bread spoils quickly and cookies are plentiful and edible for much longer. Citizens who do not have hair dryers at home also join the kitchen.
So the residents of the Ridny Dim 30 condominium buy the bread themselves, cut it into cubes, dry it in the oven, and give it to the volunteers.
– Many neighbors have joined us, not just us: other condominiums also make cookies. The residents of the house are already consulting with each other on what kind of bread should be bought to make the tastiest cookies– said the president of condominiums Larisa Dudnikova.
The woman added that neighbors also brought boxes and found the paper so that all the cookies in the house could be conveniently moved to “Feeding the Patriots.”
It is very easy to join in the preparation of delicacies: for this the community “Let’s feed patriots” has developed a special telegram-bot. There are ready-made labels and recipes, tips on how to dry and prepare products well, contacts and details for financial support. You can also help with packing, transferring food and spices, sewing cloth bags to transport raw vegetables, and more.
How to set up soup production at home?
In addition to the support of “Feeding Patriots” volunteers, a similar production can be organized in their areas, especially in areas far from the regional center. Victoria Talashkevich shared tips on what to do.
First, you need to think about who and where will wash, cut and dry the vegetables. The main ingredients are potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, beets, as well as garlic and herbs.
Second, you need to decide where to pick up the dried produce, count it, and pack it. Each package must have a label for the final recipient with information about the composition and how to cook.
Third, prepare special food bags for sealing (can be purchased at online stores) and sealing bags. The packaging must be airtight and secure so that moisture does not enter.
In addition to soups and borscht, you can cook other dishes. Most importantly, they are well dried, ready to eat, can be stored for a long time and easily transported.
– The most important thing is that the dishes were flavored with your love, care and faith in victory. We maintain the system! – called Victoria Talashkevich.
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