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Cooking for 50 Senior Citizens


CaliPoutine
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My meal is going to be the Xmas meal( turkey, mashed spuds, etc).

Don't shoot me, or anything... but I found the most amazing instant mashed potatoes at Costco. Maybe yours has it too? Really, all that's in the box are dehydrated potatoes and salt. We used 2 x 2kg boxes for the 100 ppl. But my room has more homeless and Working Poor guests than seniors. The price point was amazing, and prep was easy. If I had to peel, boil and mash 35 lbs of potatoes... I wouldn't do it. It would be rice every week. LOL. Anyways, we added real butter (1 lb for the lot), and used skim milk. Everyone loved them. And it really did taste like potatoes, unlike some of that other stuff we've tried for reasons of economy or physicality.

The agency doesnt have a costco membership and mine has lapsed at the moment. I think the Senior's might shoot me, if I served instant mashed. This is meat and potato country!! I bought a 20lb bag of white potatoes for 1.77 a few weeks ago. I prefer russets when I mash potatoes( or for baked), but as my spouse pointed out, these ppl grew up eating the white potatoes so its familar to them. Russets are way more expensive.

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I picked up 5 packs of the lamb. 3 for Kerry Beal and 2 for Anna N. I'm going up to Burlington on Friday to make candy with the ladies!!

Here it is....

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I did have to freeze them because the expiry date is Nov 29th.

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I think the lamb is a No Go.  I called the co-ordinator and she said No at first, then she said she'd ask the seniors at her program( the one I'm filling in for on Dec 12th) when she's there tomorrow.

I heard from the coordinator. The Seniors no likie lamb!!

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I think the lamb is a No Go.  I called the co-ordinator and she said No at first, then she said she'd ask the seniors at her program( the one I'm filling in for on Dec 12th) when she's there tomorrow.

I heard from the coordinator. The Seniors no likie lamb!!

I am really not surprised - the pity is that I am betting few of them have actually tasted lamb! What they remember (and what I remember) is mutton! There is just no comparison. Even hubby who swears the smell of lamb cooking makes him ill has been persuaded to try a medium-rare rib chop and declared it "not bad". I would also bet that there is a small proportion of your seniors who love lamb.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I picked up 5 packs of the lamb.  3 for Kerry Beal and 2 for Anna N.  I'm going up to Burlington on Friday to make candy with the ladies!!

Here it is....

gallery_25969_665_190390.jpg

I did have to freeze them because the expiry date is Nov 29th.

And here's the stew I made with one of the shoulders that Randi lugged down to Burlington:

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I don't think from a labour point of view that this would have worked if I had to feed more than a few people. Just hacking the meat off the bone was a challenge! It's a very simple stew based largely on a James Beard recipe but modified somewhat by me. I browned off the bones and added them to the stew along with some onion, some salt and pepper, some water and some chicken stock. I cooked the carrots and cippoline separately and added them after I had thickened the sauce and discarded the bones. I will be a little more exotic with the second shoulder and cook it in pomegranate juice!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna that looks great. I was thinking before I read the description how fresh and crisp the veggies look.

I was actually dreading doing the butchering if I was going to make the stew for them. I'm glad it was a no go.

Was it fatty? How was the flavor?

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I also made the irish stew, mine doesn't look as pretty as Anna's. Mine has only onions, potatoes and lamb.

If you let it sit in the fridge overnight you can remove the fat. It is a tasty stew, the rug rat and I have been eating it for 3 days in a row now.

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Anna that looks great.  I was thinking before I read the description how fresh and crisp the veggies look.   

I was actually dreading doing the butchering if I was going to make the stew for them.  I'm glad it was a no go. 

Was it fatty?  How was the flavor?

I trimmed most of the fat as I was "butchering" it then I did the Molly Stevens' thing and separated the meat and bones from the braising liquid and refrigerated them overnight in separate covered containers. The next day I lifted the fat off the liquid, removed the bones (and gnawed on them before tossing them!) then thickened the liquid with a flour slurry and recombined. I steamed the carrots and braised the cippoline onions and added them to the stew. The flavour was excellent. It made for a very inexpensive but delicious stew! I only wish I was eating it but hubby isn't about to tolerate stewed lamb so my daughter and her family should have a nice meal tomorrow night.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna that looks great.  I was thinking before I read the description how fresh and crisp the veggies look.   

I was actually dreading doing the butchering if I was going to make the stew for them.  I'm glad it was a no go. 

Was it fatty?  How was the flavor?

The whole issue of logistics raises it's ugly head once again. Randi, I feel your pain about the time/money continuum. Cheap meat usually needs work, which means time, for which we usually are not being paid enough... right?

On a few occasions, I've used shoulder roasts... braising them off the day before. On Meal Day: remove fat, make sauce, cook veggies separately; cube or shred meat, then put the whole thing back together into a "stew". The result was very good, combining the long-cooked flavor with the fresh look. But it meant an extra half day of work, which is all good if I'm not working at another job that day. Bonus: the clean-up volunteers had an easier time of it, as the food wasn't actually "cooked" in the insert pans we used for serving.

eta

Nice looking plate, Anna!

Edited by KarenDW (log)

Karen Dar Woon

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Can you ask them at the next dinner and see what they say about lamb?  Just to get an idea.

A simple 'Irish' stew might go over well.  Chunky carrots, potatoes, parsnips (or not), celery, pearl onions, simple seasoning.

This may be hard to imagine, but I wonder if lamb used to be more popular or standard in Canada than it is now.  We've been bringing in fresh lamb for the last few months and sell a lot of it to seniors. But my seniors may not be your seniors.

1499able for 078

Lambs were raised for wool here (Ont.) until New Zealand developed a market for tender cuts 25 or 30 years ago. Suddenly the local farmers had to catch up, but their product came too late for our seniors.

I find that trimming as much fat as possible will make today's lamb more palatable for anyone willing to try it.

It's too bad whole shoulders are not sold, as in pork. The bone problem would be easier to deal with.

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I filled in today for the other cook( she cooks at the program Exeter). Their meal is at noon. Yesterday I went over to the program and cooked these ribs. I got them for .99lb, they're side ribs that had a St. Louis style seasoning on them( vaccumm sealed). I rinsed off the spice and layered them in roasting pans with BBQ sauce( high quality, Diana( Canadian) brand, no High fructose corn syrup). I cooked them low and slow( 4hrs). Today we removed the fat and put them back in a low oven for 3 more hours.

I forgot my camera, but I took some home for Robin.

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I also made ceasar salad( organic romaine hearts, organic dressing, croutons, bacon and fresh grated parm).

They had baby carrots that I cooked in the Ziplock zip and steam bags. I made Jiffy corn muffins and baked spuds(2.49 for a 20lb bag of russetts) with sour cream( on sale for .99 for 500ml)

Dessert was Finger Lickin good cake aka pineapple mandarin cake( vanilla cake mix, 4 eggs, stick of butter, can of mandarin oranges w/juice). Frosting is whipped topping, crushed pinapple, coconut and pistachio pudding mix.

I had 10 take-outs. They loved this meal so much. One guy said it was the best meal he ever had at a dining program. They were all happy because they've never had ribs before.

I wish I worked at this program, they seem to appreciate me more!!!

Tomorrow I'm filling in at another program. They're having ham and scalloped potatoes so I wont take pics. My program is on Thursday and its their xmas meal. Turkey, gravy, stuffing, potato, a turnip casserole, corn pudding, green bean casserole and a jello mold. Dessert is pumpkin pie( M & M meat shops) with real whipped cream.

Monday we leave for Florida!!!

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The ribs look great. I'll bet they were well liked.

How good are the Ziplocks? Do they have to be microwaved? Is there any uneven spots? I'm wondering about pressure cooking with them. I'm sure they won't hold up to high oven temperatures.

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I love those zip and steams. I think there is a thread some where about them. They arent recycleable and that part sucks. But, it saves me from hoisting huge pots of boiling water on and off the stove.

I'm not sure about other uses for them.

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Xmas Meal

Turkey

stuffing, spuds

corn pudding

green bean bake

turnip/apple casserole

jello mold

pumpkin pie

Here is the corn pudding( Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1 egg, butter, 1 c. sour cream, 1 can creamed corn, 1 can whole kernel corn)

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turnip w/ crumb topping

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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How did they like that turnip casserole? I think it looks terrific, but then I really like turnips...

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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How did they like that turnip casserole?  I think it looks terrific, but then I really like turnips...

They loved it. I never had turnip until I moved here( I grew up in Florida and Cali) and I guess its just not a warm weather veg. I didnt make it for Canadian Thanksgiving and my coordinator asked me to make it for Xmas. I dished up the potatoes in the buffet line so I was able to hear everyone's comments. Everyone was glad I served turnip. Another popular casserole was the green bean bake. Seems its just not as well known here as it is in the States.

I was able to buy the turnip already peeled and diced. I boiled it and mashed it with butter and brown sugar. I layered it with sliced apples that were tossed with cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar. The topping is flour, melted butter and brown sugar. They like their turnip on the sweet side.

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How did they like that turnip casserole?  I think it looks terrific, but then I really like turnips...

They loved it. I never had turnip until I moved here( I grew up in Florida and Cali) and I guess its just not a warm weather veg. I didnt make it for Canadian Thanksgiving and my coordinator asked me to make it for Xmas. I dished up the potatoes in the buffet line so I was able to hear everyone's comments. Everyone was glad I served turnip. Another popular casserole was the green bean bake. Seems its just not as well known here as it is in the States.

I was able to buy the turnip already peeled and diced. I boiled it and mashed it with butter and brown sugar. I layered it with sliced apples that were tossed with cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar. The topping is flour, melted butter and brown sugar. They like their turnip on the sweet side.

I think turnips don't get the respect they deserve. They are delicious and nutritious and they are easy to store. I love mash potatoes with 10% turnip, and some yogurt. Or raw, raw is good.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I got a call yesterday from the coordinator. The main office told her to tell me not to buy any more items in the States. My coordinator said she knows I do it to save money, but its not allowed because of the taxes( huh?) Anyway, I guess they won't be getting anymore Jiffy corn muffins.

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Another way to sweeten turnips is with carrots. Mix 50%50%, cut in equal-sized chunks, and boil together until very soft. Mash or puree with a healthy amount of butter, season with s&p, and serve with any roast dinner. This mash reheats beautifully, even in the microwave. I bet your seniors would like it, and your budget would too!

Sorry about your US restriction...are your directors looking for ways to make your job more difficult?! :hmmm:

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...are your directors looking for ways to make your job more difficult?!  :hmmm:

I thought that was the core curriculum of Management 101. :biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I got a call yesterday from the coordinator.  The main office told her to tell me not to buy any more items in the States.  My coordinator said she knows I do it to save money, but its not allowed because of the taxes( huh?)  Anyway, I guess they won't be getting anymore Jiffy corn muffins.

If your program is a not-for-profit one, it may have something to do with tax deductions, etc. when they do their taxes at the end of the year. Many Canadian tax deductions are there to benefit those who spend money in Canada, rather than outside Canada, so if you're buying stuff in the US, it may disqualify them from receiving certain deductions. I would think, though, that you'd have to be buying a fair percentage of your goods in the US, which I don't think you are, but management probably just wants to keep things easy. If you were to continue buying from the US, they'd have to start calculation what percentage of your goods are US vs. Canadian, etc.

If my theory is correct, that is.

I'm sure they'd still be willing to accept the occasional donation of jiffy muffins, though! :biggrin: Or re-package in clear plastic bags and pretend it's from the bulk-food store!

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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Another popular casserole was the green bean bake.  Seems its just not as well known here as it is in the States. 

I had never even heard of green bean casserole until I moved to the US. It is one of the finer things you can do with a can of cream of mushroom soup, so good on you for introducing it!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today was our first meal that we served at Noon. We changed the time from 5:30 to Noon because of possible bad winter weather. We were "supposed" to have 45ppl. Only 32 showed. Kinda sucks because I planned for 45 and I bought groceries for 45. We had 2 sheppard's pies leftover. One was sold for 8.00 and my coordinator bought the other one to take home. We had TONS of salad left. I took home a huge bucket of it and it was divided among the other volunteers.

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I bought 20lbs of ground beef( .99lb). I only used 14lbs of it. I froze the rest.

I used a recipe I found on Allrecipes. I followed some user comments and added brown gravy( reduced sodium) from a packet and worcestishire. The other ingredients are sauteed onion, ketchup, salt, pepper, thyme and flour. I used just regular frozen mixed veg on top.

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This pie is called Festive Fruits Pie. It came from a Taste of Home Country Pie cookbook. It called for 1 can of cherry pie filling, 1 can of pineapple tidbits, sugar, flour, 1 package of orange jello, sliced bananas and pecans( I omitted). They liked it, but It didnt really have enough time to set up in the fridge so I ended up scooping it out instead of slicing it. They had some whipped cream with it.

Once again, they loved this meal. One guy said " The simplier the better".

I guess thats going to be my new mantra. It was a pretty easy meal to make, but now that the meal is at noon, I have less time to cook. I didnt get to the church until 9am.

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