Honor of Honors

Cooking with The Troops altered logo2 6-30-2010

Babalu has afforded me many honors, including a couple visits to the White House, a sit down with the President of the United States, participation in various Human Rights events, meeting some pretty incredible people and, well, the list is endless. Last week, tho, I was invited to participate in something so special, so freaken awesomely special that I could hardly believe it, and, once the reality of it sunk in, guess what? Yeah. I cried. A lot.

From day one, Babalu has been a huge supporter of our men and women in the Armed Forces. We’ve participated in many charity drives for their benefit, paid homage to our fallen warriors, and respected and admired the sacrifices of those very special men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the precious freedoms afforded us in this great Nation. To merely say we are eternally grateful to those in uniform is an incredible understatement.

Come July 15th, Marta and I will have the incredible honor of giving a little something back to some very special men and women in our Armed Forces. We have been invited to participate in a very special event by Cooking with the Troops, a not for profit organization dedicated to providing aid, comfort, and support to US and Allied military troops and their families via special culinary events throughout the country.

Our event, indeed, will be very special. Marta and I will be cooking a very special authentic Cuban meal for over 250 wounded veterans. I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor this is for me personally.

We will be going whole hog, too. The great folks at La Caja China have donated two pig roasting boxes so that I can cook two whole lechones for those very special men and women and their families. Marta will be cooking full speed as well, as she will be preparing the arroz con frijoles negros, los platanitos and la yuca, and, I’m told, some super delicious Cuban desserts as well.

I can tell you in all honesty that this, for me, is the greatest honor and privilege Babalu has afforded me: to give a little back to those who give so much for me.

Here’s a little more from my good friend and colleague Laughing Wolf:

Cooking with the Troops is up to something.
In our tradition (of all of one year) of doing things a bit differently, we are going to tell you what we are up to, but not where. And, we may not tell you a few other things.

What we will tell you is that we are going to feed the troops. In fact, we are going to do it for most of a day here in July. We will also say that this will be a first time doing an event at this location. With your help, it won’t be the last time either.

Lunch is being done by Val Prieto of Babalu Blog, who will be roasting two whole hogs, authentic Cuban style, in roasters donated by Caja China . Marta Darby of Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen will be preparing genuine Cuban sides, and we are planning on them feeding 250 at the least. If you’ve read Babalu Blog, then you’ve read about the delicious Cuban cuisine these two do. Now, we have a chance for some very special troops to get to taste it.

Dinner is being done for an estimated 150 by Ellen Adams. Ellen is a 20-year Air Force veteran who used her education benefits to attend culinary schools in the U.S. and in Italy. She has got some great ideas, and plans something a little lighter for the evening. We will have more on that soon.

Want to help? Then hit the donate button as that always helps. We want to kick out the stops on this event, and also do the same on some future events.

Don’t expect us to say a lot more until we have done this. Our preference is to tell you we’ve done something, not hit you with a lot of “gonna do’s” and such. If you want to read a lot more about what we’ve done, hit that donation link a time or three.