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Cooking for 50 Senior Citizens


CaliPoutine
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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.

You know, perhaps, that Jiffy's headquarters is just down the road from The Common Grill? Maybe you could stop by the next time you're in the area and see if you could become their Canadian distributor. :wink:

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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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.

You know, perhaps, that Jiffy's headquarters is just down the road from The Common Grill? Maybe you could stop by the next time you're in the area and see if you could become their Canadian distributor. :wink:

I know!!

One day while I was making the muffins at the church, one of the church member's stopped by. She spotted the muffin mix and said " Omg, where did you get that". Turns out she is an expat from MI. She proclaimed " this is like gold here".

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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. 

Hey Randi!

the same thing happened to me last week at our "first" 2008 meal. 45 ppl out of the usual 100. I definitely had too much food. This week was much better, 95 guests.

Hope your year goes well.

Karen Dar Woon

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  • 2 weeks later...

We had 35ppl show up and 5 takeouts. The weather was crap on my way in this morning, but turned really beautiful and sunny by the time I left.

First up was a raman noodle salad. Its basically a dump everything in the bowl type salad. Cole slaw mix, broccoli slaw mix, peanuts, sunflower seeds, canned mandarin oranges and green onions. The dressing is cider vinegar, oil, sugar and some soy. This is the undressed salad. They really loved it.

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I made sweet and sour meatballs using a recipe from Allrecipes. I only made the sauce part as I bought ready made turkey meatballs at the store( 1.99 for 12 meatballs). I made the sauce and then poured it over the cooked meatballs.

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They had plain white rice with it.

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Dessert is called " chocolate eclair dessert". Not sure where that name comes from since they dont resemble any eclair I've ever had. I made it on Tuesday and let it sit in the fridge. Its cooked pudding( enriched with semi-sweet chocolate) layered with graham crackers. Whipped cream was put on for service.

gallery_25969_665_610736.jpg

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We had 35ppl show up and 5 takeouts.  The weather was crap on my way in this morning, but turned really beautiful and sunny by the time I left.

First up was a raman noodle salad.  Its basically a dump everything in the bowl type salad.  Cole slaw mix, broccoli slaw mix, peanuts, sunflower seeds, canned mandarin oranges and green onions.  The dressing is cider vinegar, oil, sugar and some soy.  This is the undressed salad.  They really loved it.

gallery_25969_665_973450.jpg

Do Ramen noodles get added to this at some point? It looks good as-is, but I'm wondering why it's called Ramen noodle salad.

I'm also a bit surprised that the seniors liked the salad (although it looks delicious to me). Isn't this a bit outside their comfort zone? How did they like the meatballs? I remember back when you started this thread how it was mentioned that even rice was a bit "foreign" for your seniors. Maybe their confidence in your cooking is paying off. :cool:

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Randi - we love ramen salad. We gourmet it all up and use Napa cabbage :laugh: , but our favorite part is the crunchy ramen noodles. I actually like the looks of that eclair cake - could you give us basic amounts (scaled down for home use :wink:)? And what an awesome slicing job. Perfect cuts!

Kim

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So happy you had success with your seniors. This looks like something my 70-something step mom would serve to her bridge ladies and get raves about. That cake looks really good. I grew up with "Oblatten" layered with a dense chocolate pudding and sliced. Good memories. Thanks.

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We had 35ppl show up and 5 takeouts.  The weather was crap on my way in this morning, but turned really beautiful and sunny by the time I left.

First up was a raman noodle salad.  Its basically a dump everything in the bowl type salad.  Cole slaw mix, broccoli slaw mix, peanuts, sunflower seeds, canned mandarin oranges and green onions.  The dressing is cider vinegar, oil, sugar and some soy.   This is the undressed salad.   They really loved it.

gallery_25969_665_973450.jpg

Do Ramen noodles get added to this at some point? It looks good as-is, but I'm wondering why it's called Ramen noodle salad.

I'm also a bit surprised that the seniors liked the salad (although it looks delicious to me). Isn't this a bit outside their comfort zone? How did they like the meatballs? I remember back when you started this thread how it was mentioned that even rice was a bit "foreign" for your seniors. Maybe their confidence in your cooking is paying off. :cool:

Sorry, I missed writing about the ramen noodles. They're in there, all chopped up. The recipe also calls for adding the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles, but I left it out because its filled with salt and msg.

I didnt hear anything negative about the meatballs, although one volunteer asked me what the meat was and I said " turkey" and she said " oh, the person thought it tasted like turkey". I had a choice of pork or turkey meatballs (readymade, refridgerated fresh) and I thought the turkey might be a bit healthier. I absolutely hated the meatballs( the sauce is good, I've made it before with homeade meatballs). I thought they tasted processed and salty, but I've learned that the seniors like processed foods( as sad as that is to me).....

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Randi - we love ramen salad. We gourmet it all up and use Napa cabbage  :laugh: , but our favorite part is the crunchy ramen noodles.  I actually like the looks of that eclair cake - could you give us basic amounts (scaled down for home use  :wink:)?  And what an awesome slicing job.  Perfect cuts!

Kim

I think one box of cook and serve pudding( the bigger box) would work for home use. You could also make a batch of your favorite choc. pudding :laugh: I reduced the milk slightly so I'd have a firmer pudding. I used 2% milk too.

Line a rectangle or 9 inch square tupperware with graham crackers and then dollop on some pudding. I think I did 3 layers of crackers. Make sure it sits overnight so the crackers soften up. The original recipe says to pour microwaved canned frosting on the top layer of graham crackers, but that is vile to me. I just topped it with pudding and some whipped cream.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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Cali-Poutine: ""Sorry, I missed writing about the ramen noodles. They're in there, all chopped up. The recipe also calls for adding the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles, but I left it out because its filled with salt and msg."

Randi--not that I don't throw out all nasty seasoning packets myself, but MSG is not necessarily bad when it comes to feeding Seniors. Because Srs. lose taste buds and sense of smell as they age, more than one expert in the area has suggested that they may need more seasoning of all kinds, and MSG is recommended.

As for salt, I have read that in less than 20 per cent of people who have bood pressure problems is the condition related to salt use. When my brother was awaiting his kidney transplant years ago, one of his restrictions on sodium was celery. Now, you don't hear anybody say, "Don't eat celery, it's bad for you." IMO many of our dietary "legends" come from doctors, to whom it's all too eay to say, "Cut out the salt," or "Cut out the fat," instead of taking time to really determine solutions to individual problems.

Speaking of fat, I finally found my Escalloped Chicken recipe, but it has quite a bit of fat in it. Does your dietary policewoman have a prescribed amount of fat per person? I seem to remember that being an issue with one of your menus.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Speaking of fat, I finally found my Escalloped Chicken recipe, but it has quite a bit of fat in it. Does your dietary policewoman have a prescribed amount of fat per person? I seem to remember that being an issue with one of your menus.

Hi Ruth,

There are no real dietary restrictions except no real small bones and no accent ( seasoned salt). Someone once had a bad reaction to that( not when I was cooking). I *try* to make sure its a balanced meal with not too much fat.

I can always cut out some of the fat, so please PM the recipe.

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Randi - we love ramen salad. We gourmet it all up and use Napa cabbage  :laugh: , but our favorite part is the crunchy ramen noodles.  I actually like the looks of that eclair cake - could you give us basic amounts (scaled down for home use  :wink:)?  And what an awesome slicing job.  Perfect cuts!

Kim

I think one box of cook and serve pudding( the bigger box) would work for home use. You could also make a batch of your favorite choc. pudding :laugh: I reduced the milk slightly so I'd have a firmer pudding. I used 2% milk too.

Line a rectangle or 9 inch square tupperware with graham crackers and then dollop on some pudding. I think I did 3 layers of crackers. Make sure it sits overnight so the crackers soften up. The original recipe says to pour microwaved canned frosting on the top layer of graham crackers, but that is vile to me. I just topped it with pudding and some whipped cream.

That Eclair Cake is very similar to the Icebox Cake that is a traditional at every holiday in my family. Instead of pudding we use just chocolate flavored whipped cream (only real whipped cream, Cool Whip doesn't work right). We also do a lot more layers of graham crackers & whipped cream. Actually we layer them on edge like this: |||||||||||||

It's really important to use plenty of whipped cream (or pudding) and let it sit overnight so that the graham crackers soften and become more like a cake consistancy.

Yum... I'm thinking of home now...

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Another version of the Iclair Cake or Icebox Cake that my mother makes is with mango pudding and cream crackers (similar to saltines, but richer--she uses a Filipino brand called Sky Flakes). It always goes over well with the Asian crowd (but I don't think robyn has many Asians in her crowd :smile:).

But my point is really that if they liked the dessert, you can do different takes on it. It will be "new" every time, so they won't get bored of it.

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Another version of the Iclair Cake or Icebox Cake that my mother makes is with mango pudding and cream crackers (similar to saltines, but richer--she uses a Filipino brand called Sky Flakes).  It always goes over well with the Asian crowd (but I don't think robyn has many Asians in her crowd :smile:).

But my point is really that if they liked the dessert, you can do different takes on it.  It will be "new" every time, so they won't get bored of it.

I didnt really hear anyone say they really loved it. I'll ask next time.

Oh and no, I dont have any Asians in my crowd. Btw, Robin is my spouse : )

Everyone ALWAYS calls me Robin so don't feel bad.

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for our Community Meal, I did a riff on pulled pork. Although I used shoulder, you could probably get away w/ using loin.... it just won't be quite so soft.

Basically, meat in a pan w/ onions, garlic & a tin or two of rootbeer or cola and a small bottle of commercially prepared BBQ sauce. Cover & bake at about 300-325F for 3-4 hours. You can thicken or reduce the sauce. I served w/ rice, coleslaw and corn (frozen). The overall consensus was "good" or "great" Make sure the meat is completely thawed before you start.

Karen Dar Woon

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for our Community Meal, I did a riff on pulled pork. Although I used shoulder, you could probably get away w/ using loin.... it just won't be quite so soft.

Basically, meat in a pan w/ onions, garlic & a tin or two of rootbeer or cola and a small bottle of commercially prepared BBQ sauce. Cover & bake at about 300-325F for 3-4 hours. You can thicken or reduce the sauce. I served w/ rice, coleslaw and corn (frozen). The overall consensus was "good" or "great" Make sure the meat is completely thawed before you start.

Thanks Karen,

I did pulled pork last August when I got Porchetta roasts for 1.99 each. They were coated in a spice so I rinsed that off, removed the huge layer of fat that was wrapped around the porchetta( which was really a shoulder) and then cooked them in a homeade BBQ sauce. I had mixed reviews, some really loved it and some thought it was still too spicy. I cooked it for all 3 programs and it was a heck of a lot of work.

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How about cutting the loins into chops and doing some sort of a sauted then baked dish with - heaven forbid - canned cream of _____ soup? Or you could sub a nice bechmel with lots of good flavours for the soup.

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If I want to do something "nice" with pork loin I filet it open and stuff it with an apple - bread stuffing.

I you are going to buy it to freeze I would filet it before freezing.

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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Randi,

We are cooking for our teachers at lunch on Friday. We plan to make a pasta similar to the one you did in November with the ricotta. How much pasta do you think we would need for about 40 people with a salad, bread and dessert also served?

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Well, I think a pound is supposed to serve 8 people right? But, I'd say it would serve more like 4-6.

I honestly can't remember how many boxes I used though.

I looked back and I bought 6 boxes, but I only used 4 for 32ppl. Keep in mind though, the Seniors eat a lot less than regular folks!!

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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Well, I think a pound is supposed to serve 8 people right?  But, I'd say it would serve more like 4-6. 

I honestly can't remember how many boxes I used though. 

I looked back and I bought 6 boxes, but I only used 4 for 32ppl.  Keep in mind though, the Seniors eat a lot less than regular folks!!

Thanks. That's about what we were thinking. We only cook once or twice a year for them, but I always watch this thread to see what you are cooking.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tomorrow is Senior Day.

I received permission to cook the main dish at home since I wont have enough time tomorrow because the meal is at noon. I picked up these pork roasts a few weeks ago for 1.49lb. I bought 4, but as you'll see only 3 would fit in the crock pot/roaster they gave me to cook them in.

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I used a recipe from a Taste of Home cookbook called America's Favorite Recipes. I modified it though. I browned off the roasts and deglazed the pan with some vermouth. I also used some caraway and celery seed in addition to an herb roasting blend. The recipe also has carrots, onions, celery, canned tomatoes and saurkraut. I wonder how long this is going to take? I'll have to put in outside on my deck tonight and then slice the pork and rewarm it tomorrow.

I bought red potatoes to serve with it. Not sure if I'll mash those or just boil them. They're also having a ceasar salad and a frozen veg( brocoli blend that steams in its own bag).

gallery_25969_665_668235.jpg

Dessert is a brownie/choc. chip cookie thats layered w/ ice cream. I bought heart shaped foil tins to bake them in.

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