Growing up, my family and I weren’t well off. Sure, my dad had a good job, and my mum was able to be a stay at home mum (for most of my childhood, until the fourth of us arrived), but this was the 70s and 80s and kind of the accepted norm. Mum had to be thrifty, and careful, because one wage split between four kids and two adults meant things were pretty tight.
But still, for all our restrictive budget, there are kids in this world who have it far far worse. We never went to bed hungry. My mum was a good cook, and so we had great tasting food too, and my dad always grew fruit and veg, so we always had plenty of healthy food in our lives too.
Child.org know that this isn’t always the case. Kids are going hungry. Families don’t know how to care for them, are in dreadful poverty, or worse still, the kids have no family to care for them and end up on the street.
So for the month of October, they created The Great Big Supper Club – a series of events across the country where those who host (or who have always wanted to host) a supper club can do so, and help raise money for Child.org to continue to do the great work they do in helping families and children help themselves – bringing them out of poverty, educating children, and helping schools provide school meals. It’s a community approach rather than simply giving handouts.
There are two being held in Manchester in aid of this fantastic cause. The first is with supper club kingpin Drunken Butcher. His event on 29 October is themed around issues that can prevent children receiving proper schooling with every course inspired by one of these issues, and his event is being hosted by Mish Mash in Chorlton. Personally, if you haven’t been to one of his events yet, this really is the perfect opportunity.
The second is with Frenchester. Pauline is new to the supper club scene, but has already proved her worth with the Drunken Butcher himself attending her first event. As the name would suggest, Pauline specialises in French cooking and loves every dish to tell a story. One of the dishes at her first event – Boeuf aux Carottes – is based on her Nan’s own recipe and evokes childhood memories for her.
Her event on 22 October (yes, merely days away) features some delicious classics, including tarte tatin – a personal favourite and I can’t help but feel regret at being too far away this weekend to be able to indulge myself. I get the feeling that Pauline’s tatin will be far superior to a number I’ve experienced recently.
Both Pauline and Iain have previous form for helping those in need. Iain regularly volunteers for Not Just Soup, and Pauline for the Mad Dogs Street Project – both supporting those in poverty and homeless in our own city and so both are merely covering their costs for this event – all other funds will go direct to Child.org.
Personally, I can’t think of a more delightful way to donate to charity, but breaking bread with friends and enjoying great food.