Janet's Notebook
Recipes Bring A Touch of Sweetness to the Community

With Linda and some of the boys

A sign in Linda Harvey's kitchen reads, "TOGETHER: a great place to be." The kitchen is warm and alive with activity as a big meal is about to be served. And I do mean a BIG meal. This is the kitchen of My Friend's House, a non-profit group home for boys and the recipient of much of the food prepared by the Just A Pinch Test Kitchen.

The Kitchen Crew and I prepare MANY recipes every week and we're often asked what we do with the extra food once the recipes have been sampled. While it's often tempting to devour ever last bite ourselves, it's even more of a thrill to hand-deliver your goodies straight to these growing young fellas at My Friend's House.

Linda and the boys are a delight to be around and just so appreciative of getting to try all your wonderful recipes. (The guys seem to especially love potato dishes and casseroles!) We talk a lot about our community here in the Club, but the recipes you share have an even greater reach. With one recipe, you can truly touch the lives of thousands of people who try it and share it with their own loved ones. We’re lucky enough to get to see it first-hand with every visit to the boys.

Each week the Crew and I deliver food to My Friend's House, and each week the boys meet us at the car to help carry the food... and get a sneak peek at that week's menu! Like all young men, these guys love to eat. In fact, there's one boy in particular that for a long time would always ask me about fudge. We didn't happen to have any fudge on our Test Kitchen menu at that particular time, but he was so patient and would politely ask about it every week. Well, how can you resist that kind of sweet tooth? So now, every so often I will make a special batch of fudge from a recipe on Just A Pinch and slip it in with all the other goodies. Let me tell you, the smile on his face is worth a million thank-yous.

So many of you have shared with me how much joy you get from seeing someone enjoy what you cook. We're so honored to be able to help spread that expression of kindness even further. Feeding someone with food that you made by hand is truly a giving of yourself, and together your recipes are making a huge impact - in Linda's kitchen at My Friend's House and in kitchens all around the world.

Together, it truly is a wonderful place to be.

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Carolyn McFall - Dec 6, 2011
My Friend's House also owns the program I direct, the Evening Diversio Program, a non-residential program that teaches social skills, coping skills, alcohol and drug education, life skills, and parenting skills. The 8 teens in my group are also able to enjoy the gifts of food from Just A Pinch. My teens and I cook dinner together each evening Monday through Friday, and we not only get the wonderful food donated from Just a Pince, but we also use your recipes to cook our meals at the EDP cottage, which is right next door to the group home. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful recipes and food. Carolyn McFall, director, EDP.
Blondie Pussycat - Dec 5, 2011
Maybe these boys will see the love you and the crew have for them, and in turn will show them how to love others and share what they have fir future generations. We teach by example. All the talking about it doesn't do near as much as showing them. Thank y'all from the bottom of my heart! ;^)
Colleen Sowa - Dec 4, 2011
Yeah! What Lynn said! Lynn you said that so well and from your sweet heart.... I agree with every word of it... xo
Carole F - Dec 4, 2011
I often wondered myself what you did with all the test food you would make on a daily basis..reading this story has touched my heart. It makes me want to post a 1,000 more recipes in hopes you will try them and pass them along to these awesome young men. Big kudo's to your friend, Linda, for as you can only imagine taking on a task such as this, for she is one to be admired...it takes dedication and courage to do what she does. It says so much about the JAP crew and what you give back to those in need, as well. So happy to know this group of young men are enjoying the bounties of our kitchens...in posting a recipe it is really from our home to yours...God Bless the JAP crew..and Linda, you are the BEST!
Karla Everett - Dec 3, 2011
Janet , That was a beautiful and touching story , that's such a great service you do for your friends home and to feed them growing boys , I'm sure they do enjoy all of the delicious recipes that you test in your kitchen. :D
Jerry Ann Gregory - Dec 2, 2011
Thank you for being such caring folks!
Carol Thompson - Dec 2, 2011
Janet, just a thought, how about asking some of the boys to come over and help you'all with the cooking. I'm sure you could find a volunteer or two if nothing more then a taste tester. Here's praying these young men get bite by the cooking bug or are bless when they get older to find a young lady that is. Love, good cooking and a full tummy make the world go round.
Patrice Manning - Dec 1, 2011
You all are so wonderful, brought tears to my eyes also.
I agree with others that you may be impressing them to become chefs and share like you do! More pictures!!
Sally LaRusso - Dec 1, 2011
God bless you all! Happy Holidays!
S I - Dec 1, 2011
What a great way to "Pay It Forward" and bring a little joy to those young boys! Thank you.
Doreen Fish - Nov 30, 2011
LOVE what u r doing for all the kids!! Way to go kitchen crew!!
Straws Kitchen - Nov 30, 2011
Bless the Kitchen Crew for volunteering all food items to such a great place. Love this story.
Sherri Williams - Nov 30, 2011
Janet, you and the rest of the Kitchen Crew have hearts of GOLD! My eyes are filled with tears of joy and my heart is heavy because of the generosity you all have shown to these young men. We need more caring and loving people like you all! God bless each and everyone of you. luv ya sw☺
Colleen Sowa - Nov 29, 2011
Janet... what a wonderful thing you are doing to help these young men experience home cooking, love and generosity!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us... I too love to help others and share... I work as a volunteer at our community garden and at the Hunger Task Force..... there is nothing like the joy that fills my heart to be helping others.....!

I have been receiving awards and praise from others this year... but the real reward is the faces of those I help!


Betty Graves - Nov 29, 2011
What a thoughtful thing to do. God Bless