Looking back on 2014, we put in lots of hours and hard work in the office. For our holiday party, we decided to transfer some of our team building expertise into a fun holiday activity for our group! Our TeamBonding holiday party this year consisted of two parts – feeding the hungry, and ourselves. In the morning our team headed over to Father Bill’s & MainSpring House in Brockton, Massachusetts to help prepare and serve lunches to the homeless community there. Father Bill’s & MainSpring House help homeless individuals by allowing them to take shelter and eat meals on the premises when they’re in need as well as assist them in finding affordable living and work to achieve self-sufficiency. This includes emotional support as well as support in finding a job and income.
We were honored to be able to help out for the day doing something to help the community alongside a group of individuals who have dedicated their daily lives to helping the homeless overcome everyday struggles that they face. It really made us thankful for what we have, and it was a warming feeling to be able to deliver hearty meals to people who never take anything for granted as we often do.
After our volunteer hours were completed, it was off to Newton for our Create-a-Cook cook-off challenge. Create-a-Cook is a facility with a top of the line kitchen that offers cooking lessons to adults and children as well as provides a fun atmosphere for date nights, parties, and workshops. None of us had done anything like it before. Our group was broken up into two teams randomly, and were given the task of creating our own four-course meal consisting of salad, garlic bread, pasta, and dessert. Our judge and in-house chef Max gave us instructions for each round as well as a list of possible ingredients we would have access to, and the rest was up to us.
Each round was timed and the teams’ skills were really tested – some of us have little to no experience in the kitchen, so you can bet it was interesting when we were challenged to make our own pasta from scratch!
Team “Chopped Suey” and Team “Spaghetti-O” both completed the cook-off with flying colors – creating great variations of each course. There was a goat cheese and walnut salad, buttery balsamic garlic bread, pesto pasta with bacon, and Oreo cannolis from Team Spaghetti-O and a butternut squash and pine nut salad, tomato mozzarella garlic bread, spicy bacon red sauce pasta and Bailey’s Cream flavored chocolate chip cannolis from Team Chopped Suey.
In the end, Team Spaghetti-O won the judge over with their pesto pasta and bacon bits – they unknowingly had made his favorite dish! – but there was no denying that both meals were absolutely delicious. We were so full from our main courses that the cannolis we created had to be taken home in to-go boxes and saved for a midnight snack.
It was a fun filled day of feeding the homeless and then working to feed ourselves – and a great way to spend time together making a difference in our community and then cutting loose as a group. Next year’s TeamBonding holiday party will really have to step it up to compete with this one!
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