If you ever need a reminder of humanity's goodness, go to the chowhound boards. Amidst the complaints of bad service, recipe successes and failures, and tipping questions, people are using food to heal in the wake of this tragedy. Here's are some rocking posts to the chowhound message boards:
From Piglet on the Not About Food Board:
"Please make a vow to revisit this beautiful and remarkable city as soon as the airport and a hotel is up and ready for business!!!
I'm sure there are tons of people, (certainly NOT foodies) who will think 'well, I went there for Mardi Gras, but I'm not going back THERE again!!!'
Give to the Red Cross, then start saving your pennies to throw at any and every business that will take them as soon as they open the doors. Support this amazing place! We need to bring it back from this horrible state!"
From Nancy on the Home Cooking Board:
"My sister in Houston has to make @100 sandwiches to go on a 24 hour bus trip with refugees. What sorts of sandwiches other than peanut butter can last that long with no coolers/refrigeration?? Thanks so much in advance!"
From Foodobsessed on the Home Cooking Board:
"I am organizing a bake sale this weekend to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief. Problem is, I myself am a very novice baker. Does anyone have any easy recipes they can share so that I can bake up some goodies worthy of being sold?"
From Uptown Kevin on the Hom Cooking Board:
"I live(d) in New Orleans but was lucky enough to make it out and am now in Chicago. I plan to return to Louisiana next week, or as soon as the power is restored at my parents house in Hammond (northshore of NOLA). My parents have been feeding 10-15 people daily at there house and have had an adequate amount of food stockpiled in their freezer, but it's dwindling by the day.
When I arrive, I plan to be cooking for 10-20 people daily and am brainstorming for some ideas for meals. I will be loading up my car in Chicago before my return, as the line at the grocery in LA can take hours.
Some easy mass-quantity meals I plan to make are:
Spagetti and Meatballs
Red Beans and Rice
Chicken (quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas, grilled)
Fried Fish (they have a fish pond)
Potato Salad, Onion Rings, Baked Beans (all are cheap)
So far these are a few ideas, but they will go quick. I will have plenty of rice and potatoes, will be buying a ton of tortillas, some fresh veggies and probably a lot of skirt steak and Italian sausage (since I am in Chicago).
Ok, now it is your turn. I need meal ideas and also shopping ideas. Go for it..."