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Sunday Soup with Phil, Apr. 4, 2021

Welcome on this Easter Sunday, join me as I make today’s soup, chosen from our soon to be published Cookbook. Today’s soup seems like it should include ham, but it does not call for it in the recipe. I suppose that ham could be added if you wished, but I like to try and follow the recipes as written, at least the first time. Today, I will be preparing “Apple & Butternut Harvest Soup”. A recipe that was contributed by Dione Doty. She resides here in Bella Vista and is a member of the Village Art Club which owns and operates the Wishing Spring Gallery on W. McNelly Road. They just recently opened again on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 AM until 4 PM on those days. They display some of our Empty Bowl creations there, for purchase for what nets out to $22.50 each because of the “Pickup Discount” of 10%. Online our bowls sell for $25 each, however, that includes free shipping and delivery.

If you will recall, I created a new recipe last Sunday, because I just had to use some of the Alaskan halibut that I receive with the shipment I get every other month. I did change what I was going to call it, the name that I decided on and entered into our Cookbook is “Alaskan Halibut Stew”. It will be in the Seafood Section, under Chowders. It turned out to be very good. I love seafood, it is the “other white meat” to me. I guess that I turned out kind of like my uncle Harold, rest his soul. The joke was that he was a strict Catholic and telling him that he had to eat fish on Fridays was hilarious, because he would have eaten fish seven days a week if he had a choice.

The editing of the Cookbook should be completed by Tuesday and then sent on to the publisher. I had hoped to have it done by yesterday, but a couple of things came up that delayed it. Life happens, and we just have to flow with it. I am looking forward to the finished product, we should get it back by mid-May now. Hopefully, we will get it before Mother’s Day, but if we don’t, so be it.

As I told you last Sunday, we decided to extend the Advance Book Order of $20, which is a discount of $5 until April 25th. Like our bowls, the price of the book includes shipping and delivery. The proceeds from the sale of the Cookbooks will be used to offset our material, operating costs, and expenses, so that we may continue passing on 100% of the money raised from the sale of our bowls.

I am also working on a big announcement regarding Benton County Empty Bowls. We are always looking to increase the number of potters that are involved with our charitable efforts. Several of these individuals live outside of Benton County and since we have already expanded our assistance, that we pass on, to the six-county region around us, we are in the process of changing our name to “Ozark Empty Bowls”. We feel that it is a much more descriptive name for what we have become and fits more into our future plans. The Board has decided to do this, even though, we have worked hard in establishing our present name and all that goes with it. However, we feel that in the long run, it will be for the better. After all, it is the long run that is the most important. I have already started the filings with the State of Arkansas and established another domain name with our website provider. I do think that we will be able to do this change rather smoothly. In a way it is good that we decided to do this now. I have changed the name that will be on our Cookbook Fundraiser to “150 GREAT RECIPES, FOR YOUR EMPTY BOWL” with the sub-title of “OZARK EMPTY BOWLS, HELP US BATTLE HUNGER”. We are going to have a total of 150 recipes, which includes some side dishes and desserts. I had originally wanted 150 soup recipes, besides the extras. Well, it turns out that 150 recipes is a dividing line of sorts with the publisher. An extra 22 recipes would have cost us an extra $250 for our order. So, it was an easy decision, to limit the total to 150 recipes.

Changing the subject now, regarding the bowls on our website, we have some additions. I just received 15 new bowls that had been created by 4 different artistic potters. I need to take a photo of each bowl this week and post the photos on the website. Each and every one is awesome. One of them is a larger serving bowl that will be priced at $50, which is still a deal. No two bowls are ever exactly alike, all are individual creations that stand on their own for beauty. Kind of like snowflakes, similar but each one is different than the other. Also, like humanity, we may look very similar, but every human is different, in their own way. Being different is a good thing. If we were all the same, it wouldn't be very interesting now would it?

With that said, every human has different skills, and we are looking for volunteers that have those different skill sets. We are going to be needing many volunteers to help us in our upcoming events, besides producing our handcrafted ceramic bowls. We need volunteers to coordinate events, so if you have those skills, we need you. Besides our Ice-Cream Social Event on the 4th of July, in October we will be at the Arts and Crafts Festivals, in two different locations. We will need 4 or 5 people at each booth that we will have at the two different fairs, for a total of 8 to 10 people. The fairs are scheduled for October 14th through 16th, which is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then on November 11th, we will have our Soup Event, where purchasers of a bowl would get a bowl of soup from a variety of soups that we will have to choose from. We will need volunteers to assist at the event, besides preparing some of the soups. If you would like to prepare between 2 and 3 gallons of a soup or know of a cook or restaurant like would like to participate, then please have them contact me.

I forgot to mention that anyone purchasing a bowl, in 2021, prior to either of our events is allowed to attend the event of their choice. We will be keeping track of those purchases and have a checklist for the attendees.

During the course of the events that we are planning, we hope to sell 1,000 bowls, which would give us between $20,000 and $25,000 to pass on to the food banks and pantries in our six-county region. These people need our help, especially this year, due to this terrible pandemic that we have had to endure for more than a year now.

As always. I invite your comments and questions, even criticism is accepted.

See y’all next Sunday, until then, do not be afraid to try something new and different.

Enjoy life!

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