Luke’s gospel refers to a house being swept and put in good order, but it doesn’t say anything about cleaning grease from the vent above a stove.
“It’s a really dirty job, but it’s one of the necessary tasks to be done during the seasonal cleaning of the kitchen at the church hall,” said David Crowe of the Guild of St. Joseph.
A six-member team from the “Holy Joes” recently tackled not only the greasy vent but also they defrosted the freezer; cleaned the refrigerator, microwave, and two ovens; scrubbed three sinks; wiped down the cupboard faces; washed the windows; tidied the drawers and cupboards; checked the dishwasher, and disinfected the counter tops.
“Our kitchen is a big, beautiful space which is used frequently for shared meals such as the Saturday breakfast and spaghetti Tuesdays, funeral receptions, the Monday drop-in for people in need, teas, luncheons associated with meetings, and so on,” David explained. “Users are good about keeping it tidy from one event to the other, but a thorough cleaning is needed a few times a year.”
The cathedral’s Kitchen Committee, on which David serves, manages the kitchen jointly and shares the workload. The ACW takes a turn doing the “big clean,” as does the Outreach Committee, which operates the Monday morning gathering. The volunteers who work at the Saturday morning community breakfast are also assigned a season.
It’s a case of many hands make light work.
“It’s a case of many hands make light work, and each group’s turn comes up once a year, but the kitchen sparkles at least four times annually,” David said. “The Kitchen Committee is diligent about running a clean, safe, efficient kitchen for everyone to enjoy.”
Groups that use the kitchen regularly are asked to fill out a departure checklist located in a pink binder in the kitchen. This binder is reviewed a couple times a month so that problems, such as a leaky faucet or a lack of vinyl gloves, can be addressed promptly.
With the cleaning chores behind him, thanks to a solid effort by his team, David has a suggestion. “If you left a container, platter, pie plate, cookie tin or whatnot at the hall when donating food for an event, please come back and get it,” he said. “We wash, dry and stack these items on the window sill in the kitchen for a few months, but unclaimed items are given away eventually.”
The committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Committee chair Lois Baker welcomes questions at any time.