Gustatory tour: Eyes will be bigger than...

Benefiting a good cause, digesting some delicious food, and walking leisurely through some of Charlottesville more interesting downtown houses seems like a recipe for success. Curiosity seekers, gourmands, and history and architectural buffs can indulge themselves while contributing to the internationally renowned, non-profit volunteer organization, Meals on Wheels.
In the 25 years since Church Women United founded our local chapter, Community Meals on Wheels has delivered more than 500,000 hot and cold nutritious meals in the Charlottesville area, and they have recently expanded to Scottsville and Crozet. Bringing prepared meals to the elderly, poor, and to those housebound for medical or other reasons, Meals on Wheels does not discriminate. Where a need arises, volunteers deliver.
To supplement their philanthropic endeavors this year, Meals on Wheels is sponsoring a historic Park Street Kitchen Tour. Six of the most interesting kitchens on the street (as well as parlors, studies, and great rooms) will be open for tours. Four generations of recipes will issue forth from these kitchens, further complementing the historic walkabout.
Traditional, remodeled, or brand new, each of the six houses is within easy walking distance on or near Park Street. The kitchens range from Lloyd Smith’s antique-filled traditional one, in which Ashlin Smith has arranged a special display of favorite cookware and small appliances inherited from her mother, to Ed and Jane Ford’s “urban leftover” house with a through-the-wall table completed in 2001. Kitchens are the focal point of the tour, but the owners will open other rooms as well. Well-informed volunteer guides in each home will point out features and answer questions.
The purpose of a fundraiser of this magnitude is not to raise money to support existing programs, but also to enable expansion of the territory that Meals on Wheels can reach and to raise awareness of its mission. Many people in the county have limited access to help and/or neighbors when things go awry. A primary sponsor of the tour is Better Living, with individual house sponsorships coming from Ace Construction and Brooks Construction as well as Luck Stone Corporation.
Community-inspired and community driven, Meals on Wheels delivers.

Tickets for the six-house tour are $15 when purchased in advance from Albemarle Baking Company, Foods of All Nations, Hotcakes, Market Street Wine Shop (both locations), New Dominion Book Store, and the Senior Center. On the days of the tour they may be purchased for $20 from the Meals on Wheels table in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church where free parking is available. Each attendee will receive a program containing the owners’ descriptions of their homes and their favorite recipes. The kitchens will be open from 1-5pm on September 13, 14, and 15. For more information about the houses, sample recipes, and quotes from homeowners, contact Nancy Essig, Kitchen Tour Chairperson, at 434-295-1282.