Luke's gospel refers to a house being swept and put in good order, but it doesn't say anything about defrosting a freezer or cleaning a popcorn machine.
“We have a checklist of necessary tasks to be done during the seasonal cleaning of the kitchen at the church hall,” Kitchen Committee chair Kathy McBride said.
A five-member team recently defrosted the freezer; discarded dubious food items; cleaned the refrigerator, microwave, toasters, coffee machine and stove tops; scrubbed the sinks; wiped down the cupboard faces; cleaned the window ledges; tidied the drawers and cupboards; checked the dishwasher; disinfected the counter tops, and completed other such “good housekeeping” jobs.
“Our kitchen is a big, beautiful, well-equipped space which can be used for shared meals, funeral receptions, teas, luncheons associated with meetings,” Kathy explained. “Users are good about keeping it tidy from one event to the other, but a thorough cleaning is needed two or three times a year.”
Before the pandemic, the seasonal cleaning was done in rotation by the ACW, the Outreach Committee, the Guild of St. Joseph, and the Saturday morning breakfast workers. As with many people, places and things post-pandemic, a lot has changed.
“This time three members of our committee, joined by two friends from the congregation, worked hard to make the kitchen sparkle,” Kathy said. “We want to operate 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 on the kitchen counter. 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 done, Kathy has a couple of final comments. “Please always label and date anything you put in the fridge or freezer. And, 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.”
The committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Kathy welcomes questions at any time, and notes that she will put out a call for volunteers the next time seasonal cleaning is scheduled.