RCK Newsletter October 2017

We just released our very first newsletter! Besides our latest news, we sent out our recipe for one of the soul-warming meals we recently served to refugees in Calais. We wanted to share that recipe with you here too!

RCK’S CHICKPEA & EGG BUTTER MASALA

INGREDIENTS

500g Dried chickpeas
12 Large Organic Eggs hardboiled peeled & coarsely chopped
2 Large Onions peeled & finely chopped
3 Large Potatoes washed, peeled, diced 4-5cm
100g Ginger peeled & pureed with sunflower oil
2 Heads Garlic peeled & finely chopped
2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
100g Butter
3 tbsp. Sunflower Oil
2 x 400g Chopped Tin Tomatoes
Spices:
2 Handfuls Fresh coarsely chopped coriander, stalk & all
6 Fresh Hot Green Finger Chillis, sliced in half length ways
2 tbsp. whole Cumin seeds
2 tbsp. whole Coriander seeds
1 tbsp. Cardamom seeds (no pods)
1tbsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp. Fenugreek powder
¼ tsp. Asafoetida powder
3 tbsp. Coriander powder
2 tbsp. Mild curry powder
Salt
1 ½ tbsp. Brown sugar
2 tbsp. Lemon juiceMETHODSoak the dried chickpeas over night in a generous amount of water.
Rinse and cook in generous amount of water (10cm above chickpea level) for 40 mins-1hr or until tender. Leave to cool in the cooking liquid (keep the liquid).On a medium heat, heat sunflower oil in heavy bottomed large sauce pan. Fry chillis until golden brown, remove from pan and set aside. Add cumin powder, coriander powder and cardamom seeds to hot oil and fry until golden and starting to pop, now add all of the powdered spices, stir well, then add garlic and ginger.Keep stirring. If the spices start to catch add a sprinkle of the chopped onions and a little chickpea cooking water as necessary. Once garlic and ginger have reduced to a soft, sticky consistency (4-5mins), add the rest of chopped onions and continue stirring until onions have reduced and curry base has reached a thick sticky consistency (8-10mins), adding a little chickpea cooking water when needed.

Now add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and simmer for 10mins. Add potatoes, some chickpea water and a little salt, simmer for approx. 8mins, then add cooked chickpeas, salt and sugar. Simmer until potatoes are tender (6-10mins). When cooked, add butter and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning to taste, one handful of fresh coriander and chopped eggs, stir gently.

Garnish with fried chillis and remaining chopped fresh coriander.
Serve with basmati rice or fresh chapatti or flat bread and salad.

Enjoy!

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Lord Dubs & Barbara Winton visit RCK

We had an inspirational and motivational visit to the kitchen in Calais from Lord Alf Dubs and Barbara Winton, escorted by the lovely people from Help Refugees & Safe Passage UK.

Alf Dubs shared his story with all the volunteers of having been a child on the Kindertransport in 1939 and how it has inspired him to lobby the UK government to take more child refugees. His story was moving and empowering for all the volunteers in Calais to believe that the work we are doing is important and making a huge difference to peoples future.

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Summer at RCK

Work continues everyday in our temporary kitchen, supplying 2600 meals per day to refugees in the Calais and Dunkirk area. We are sadly very low on funds for the daily output and maintenance of our kitchen, coupled with the costs of building our new expanded kitchen to meet growing need and to fulfil French health and safety regulations.
After much planning and preparation, physical work has started on the construction of our new kitchen, we have had some very kind help with some costs toward this but are still very much in need of financial support.

With your help we have achieved so much, since our first meals cooked on the 1st of December 2015 we have made and distributed over 1,500,000 meals, not missing a day of service. This service has made a huge difference to many thousands of people, with your help we hope to continue this work here and in other areas of great need.

If you or any friends or groups you may know could help with fundraising please let us know, or if you can support us with a donation of any size, as a one off payment or a monthly donation, RCK and the people we support would be eternally grateful.

STILL Feeding the Need: Supporting the refugees in Calais

The refugee crisis in Calais and Dunkirk is presently worse than it’s ever been and help is needed more now than ever. This film is an overview of the present situation and a plea for help.

Since the dismantlement of the Calais Jungle and the fire in Dunkirk, Refugee Community Kitchen is now the only organisation from the UK making food and are currently serving 2500 portions a day.

The refugees continue to arrive, fleeing their uninhabitable homelands – hoping to find some peace and a place to settle. They are living in extremely difficult conditions, they have no services and no safe places. As there are no camps, they are being forced into the woods and wasteland, avoiding the authorities and face continual police harassment.

All volunteering, donations and sharing of info is greatly appreciated. Please spread the word and/or volunteer if you can spare the time.

Appeal for Refugee Community Kitchen Rebuild

For over a year we have fed an average of 1500 refugees every day in the Calais area. Our diverse, delicious and nutritious meals have been received with gratitude and we are currently serving 2000 hot meals a day in Calais and Dunkirk, through static distribution and outreach as well as making weekly drops of food provisions for 4 unofficial camps in the Nor Pas de Calais area, helping an additional 500/600 people.

With our grassroots partners we have recently gone through the French courts and succeeded in upholding our right to distribute food and non-food aid free from police harassment and most time constraints. We have now been informed by the police that the prefecture has had to order all police to not obstruct or intimidate us in any way. They clearly did not fancy being shamed in court about their illegal and inhumane actions.

This means we can carry on with or essential work each and every day, with the only constraint being that we finish by 8pm. The food at the moment is really a life line to a growing community of displaced people that have no other support or infrastructure, the food is vital, the water is vital!

We have also compiled with the dictates of numerous government health inspections but are now being forced to build an entirely new kitchen! Whilst this build is taking place we will first have to set up a temporary field kitchen to be able to maintain the supply of hot food.

In Calais our largest compliance task is to create a new sanitary room to house our new kitchen. Work has started and we will use our kitchen truck and the neighbouring warehouse to carry on our current formidable output, to illustrate the volume, we are using 1000kg of rice every 4 days!

This new build needs lots of support to make it happen and avoid the kitchen being shut down. To close would result in hundreds of destitute refugees going without food in Calais environs.

Our new fundraiser has been created to raise the £35,000 needed for the rebuild with all the monies being spent on materials whilst the work is carried out by our incredible band of skilled volunteers.

We know with your incredible support we can re-build and continue our work so…. Please share! Please RT! Please donate!

R.C.K Calais/Dunkirk after the fire…

18156387_10155281234486255_1390313073441109505_oWe have been very busy salvaging as much equipment from the RCK community kitchens/Women’s Centre/Children’s Centre /Wood Yard.

Being back in the camp as it was being cleared of burnt shelters and buckled kitchens was a surreal experience after being there just over a year ago when we were building this camp which was to serve as a place of refuge and safety for thousands of displaced people. It wasn’t perfect but it served its purpose and we say goodbye and swiftly move on to the new situation at hand. Continue reading

Latest on the fire at Grande Synthe in Dunkirk

17903541_10158493280585384_673737028790384261_nAs some are aware the Dunkirk Refugee Camp, Grande Synthe, was all but destroyed by fire late Monday evening. The phone calls started around 9.30pm and what followed was a tragic and long night where refugees once again had to flee to safety, losing their papers, their belongings – the little they had managed to hold on to was gone.

With the incoming news, all the volunteers from Refugee Community Kitchen arrived at the warehouse at the same time, the lights went on, the gas rings lit, chai put on the boil, flapjacks cut up, more pulses put in to soak, teams formulated, plans hatched, logistics and safety plans repeatedly talked out and constant communication with all other groups on the ground. Continue reading