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Can't phone bank or canvass, but still want to contribute to the GOTV effort? Consider helping to feed your campaign workers.

During the final four days of GOTV, Saturday November 3 through the big day, November 6, your local campaign office may have people on duty for many hours straight. They won't have time to run out for food, and they've long since tired of pizzas and other take-out food. Maybe you can help feed them, and nourish their spirit at the same time.

I am the "comfort captain" for my local Obama for America (OFA) office. I'm trying to coordinate efforts for the four days, to feed both staff and long-day volunteers, as well as short-shift volunteers. They all deserve our thanks and many will appreciate having a bite to eat.

Foods I am requesting include primarily REAL food, not junk food. Chips and donuts are great, but they don't lead to good long-term energy. Instead, consider helping with the following:

  • apples
  • bananas
  • baby carrots
  • raw veggies and dips
  • cheese chunks (cheddar, Swiss, etc.)
  • hummus with pita wedges
  • sloppy joe meat, pulled pork, or Italian beef and junior-sized buns
  • soup or chili in crockpot (with spoons and bowls)
  • baked goods
  • leftover Halloween candy

Note I put baked goods and candy last on the list. Everyone likes a good brownie, but they WILL reach for real food first, if it's there.


  • Do check with the campaign office before bringing food. Ask them if that would help, and what foods they might like. Can't find a phone number for the office? Stop in!
  • Do tape your NAME and PHONE NUMBER onto the cord for any crockpot or appliance you take. Mark any dish or utensil you want back with your NAME and PHONE NUMBER.
  • Do bring serving utensils where needed. They won't have ladles, etc.
  • Do collect your crockpot or other items at the end of the same day, if possible.
  • Do stick to finger food as much as possible. (Depending on weather, soup or chili may be a very desirable exception.) Every plastic fork needed is a plastic fork that will be thrown away.
  • Do keep in mind any cultural/religious issues with the foods you choose for the office you're helping.
  • Do check to see an outlet will be available, if you're bringing a crockpot or other small appliance. Some offices are very limited in the space they have.
  • Do cut baked goods into smaller serving pieces before you deliver the item. Many offices won't have space or manpower available to do it themselves.

  • Don't assume dishes will be washed before returning to you. If you drop something off in the morning, try to collect it before the end of the day.
  • Don't be hurt if no one oohs and aahs over your contribution. Believe me, they appreciate it, even if they don't take the time to tell you how much.
  • Don't buy Dixie, Mardi Gras, or Brawny paper dishware or napkins. They're made by Georgia-Pacific, part of the evil empire of the Koch Brothers.

One of the items I'll supply is pulled pork. Pork is cheaper at my local groceries than ground beef, so it is economical for donation, too.  

For the pork, start with a 2.5-3 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt. This is the same cut but may be referred to by either one. This is NOT the same cut as a pork loin roast. The loin also makes a great meal but it isn't going to cook into the lovely shreds that a butt will.

I cook it in a slow-cooker. This can be either a crock-pot style or the pan-on-burner style. I've used both and they both work fine. RESIST the temptation to lift the lid with either cooker. Let the pot retain the heat and moisture. Just leave it alone. That's the beauty of using the slow-cooker anyway.

Now, there are as many recipes for pulled pork as there are cooks who make it, and if you cook like I do, you read through a bunch of recipes each time you try something new, and then consolidate their thinking into your own process. So while I'll tell you this is MY recipe, I won't be so silly as to suggest it is THE recipe.

Pulled Pork for Sandwiches
2.5-3 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt roast (may come as two pieces of meat tied or netted together -- untie them if they are)
onion chopped small, about 1/2 of a large onion or a whole small onion
salt, pepper, and chili powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar

Place the roast in the slow cooker with the fat side up. Pour the vinegar into the pan. Salt and pepper the top of the roast and add a dusting layer of chili powder. Spread the brown sugar over the top. Dump the onions on the roast. Don't worry that half or more will fall off into the pan. Cover the top of the roast with ketchup.

Put the lid on the pan and cook on medium-high for at least 4 to 6 hours. (Know your slow cooker -- I have two and they cook differently.) Don't take the lid off until at least 4 hours have gone by. Then you might check for doneness. If you stick a fork in the meat and twist a little, shredding it, it is done.

Once it's cooked and the heat is turned off, remove the meat, leaving the juices in the pan. Shred the meat and return it to the pan.

Reheat for serving. For campaign purposes, consider buying junior buns, the term used around here for buns that are smaller than typical hamburger sized. Also take a bottle of decent barbecue sauce. You may not ever see it again, so assume it is a donation, too.

Another idea is hummus and pita wedges. It feels like a snack but is real food. And again, it isn't very expensive for you to provide. My favorite hummus recipe is below.
1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or use about 2-3 teaspoons of minced garlic from jar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Drain chickpeas and reserve 1/4 cup liquid. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

If you deliver pita with it, cut the pita wedges and return them to the plastic bag so they'll stay fresher.

Do you have ideas or recipes for food to contribute?

THANKS to everyone for all you do to GET OUT THE VOTE!

Originally posted to Jim & Melanie in IA on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 03:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.


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