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—Photo courtesy of Daniel Luke Holton

The Squeaky Bean to Serve Thousands Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Five hundred people will be served directly at the Squeaky Bean this Thanksgiving, with 2,500 meals delivered to the doors of those in need. 

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When Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe shuttered in late October after 30 years in business, many wondered what would happen to the restaurant’s annual Thanksgiving feast. For more than two decades. Rosa Linda, her husband Virgillio, son Oscar (the owner of the business), and four other adult children, have generously fed thousands of hungry people on the holiday.

Enter the Squeaky Bean business partners Joshua Olsen and Johnny Ballen, who together with their staff, had helped out at Rosa Linda’s Thanksgiving dinners in the past, and couldn’t bear to see the service come to an end. Olsen, Ballen, and the entire crew at the Squeaky Bean are taking over the feast—now known as Feed—for 3,000 people. And they’re doing so in a matter of weeks, rather than the months usually required to pull off a benefit of this magnitude.

Lists of willing volunteers and chefs have jumped in to help, including chefs Justin Brunson (Old Major, Masterpiece Delicatessen), Lon Symensma (ChoLon, Cho77), Kelly Whitaker (Basta, Cart-Driver), Paul Reilly (Beast & Bottle), Theo Adley, and Max MacKissock (Bar Dough) to pull off all of the prep, cooking, and serving for the massive effort. Five hundred people will be served directly at the Bean, with 2,500 meals delivered to the doors of those in need. The menu includes pulled braised turkey, traditional green bean casserole, farmhouse herbed stuffing, Grandpa Olsen’s gravy, Deep South sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie made from gourds grown on the Squeaky Bean’s farm.

The community outpouring has been remarkable, including donations from companies like Tundra who provided all of the to-go containers, WeDon’tWaste who donated turkeys, Italco who gave spices, as well as Richmond Homes and Little Man Ice Cream who offered financial assistance. However, donations of time and money are still needed. If you’d like to join in, you can make tax-deductible donations by emailing [email protected]. To help prep or serve, call the Squeaky Bean at 303-623-2665.

Bonus: Check out Joshua Olsen’s pumpkin pie squares recipe below.

Bean Acre Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Purée

1 fresh pie pumpkin

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

2 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds. Place pumpkin skin-side down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle pumpkin meat with spices, add butter to the cup of pumpkin. Roast for 45 minutes or until the meat is fork-tender. Reserve liquid inside the pumpkin cup to use while puréeing. Scoop out the meat of the pumpkin, discard skin. Purée cooked meat with reserved liquid. Set aside.

Pie Dough

1 pound 4 ounces pastry flour

14 ounces butter (large dice and cold)

6 ounces water

2 teaspoons salt

1 ounce sugar

Incorporate cold diced butter into the flour until fat particles resemble the size of peas. Dissolve salt and sugar in water. Add water to flour mixture, gently mix just until water is absorbed. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9” x 13” baking sheet tray. On a floured surface, roll out pie dough to the dimension of the sheet tray. Gently transfer dough on to the sheet tray. Prick the dough with a fork to reduce air pockets. Par-bake dough for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pie Filling

1 ounce pastry flour

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

10 ounces brown sugar

pinch salt

1 pound 10 ounces pumpkin purée (recipe above)

10 ounces eggs

2 ounces corn syrup

20 ounces whole milk

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add purée and whisk together until smooth. Add eggs, whisk until smooth. Add corn syrup and milk slowly, whisk until smooth. Let filling rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.

Add rested filling to the sheet tray with cooled pie dough. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set. Cool, cut into squares, and serve with whipped cream.

The Squeaky Bean, 1500 Wynkoop St., 303-623-2665

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