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Cooking for 50 Senior Citizens


CaliPoutine
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Two things. First, thank you for keeping this thread going. I really enjoy it. Second, I hope that the seniors appreciate you! I continue to be impressed with how much effort you put into planning, efficiently-shopping-for, and preparing their meals.

Edited by kbjesq (log)
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Two things.  First, thank you for keeping this thread going.  I really enjoy it.  Second, I hope that the seniors appreciate you!  I continue to be impressed with how much effort you put into planning, efficiently-shopping-for, and preparing their meals.

Thanks!! That means a lot. I know the seniors don't know the effort I put into it. Its sad, but I get more complaints than praise from them.

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Two things.  First, thank you for keeping this thread going.  I really enjoy it.  Second, I hope that the seniors appreciate you!  I continue to be impressed with how much effort you put into planning, efficiently-shopping-for, and preparing their meals.

Thanks!! That means a lot. I know the seniors don't know the effort I put into it. Its sad, but I get more complaints than praise from them.

:sad::sad: WE know and WE appreciate it, even if they don't. :angry::angry:

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Two things.  First, thank you for keeping this thread going.  I really enjoy it.  Second, I hope that the seniors appreciate you!  I continue to be impressed with how much effort you put into planning, efficiently-shopping-for, and preparing their meals.

Thanks!! That means a lot. I know the seniors don't know the effort I put into it. Its sad, but I get more complaints than praise from them.

:sad::sad: WE know and WE appreciate it, even if they don't. :angry::angry:

complaining is just what old people are good at... :rolleyes:

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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Two things.  First, thank you for keeping this thread going.  I really enjoy it.  Second, I hope that the seniors appreciate you!  I continue to be impressed with how much effort you put into planning, efficiently-shopping-for, and preparing their meals.

Thanks!! That means a lot. I know the seniors don't know the effort I put into it. Its sad, but I get more complaints than praise from them.

:sad::sad: WE know and WE appreciate it, even if they don't. :angry::angry:

complaining is just what old people are good at... :rolleyes:

Just as working retail taught me what kind of person not to be while shopping, working in a doctor's office is teaching me what kind of old person not to become. :wink::laugh:

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I was expecting 40ppl yesterday, but only 33 showed up. There were 3 take-outs.

Here is the dessert.

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I think they liked the dessert more than the main dish. Once again, this saddens me because its a boxed mix( Krustez).

Last night for dinner, I made CI's 30 min skillet chicken pot pie( no crust as there is a cream biscuit recipe that accompanies). It was really good and I know the seniors would love it. I need to figure out a way to make it for them because obviously, I dont have a big enough skillet. I've requested a big braiser pot ( restaurant quality) for my wish list.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tomorrow's meal.

Pot roast

boiled red potatoes( 10lb bag leftover from last meal)

broccoli salad( w/ cheddar, sunflower seeds, grapes and bacon)

steamed cauliflower

wheat bread

lazy daisy cake( from scratch)

I bought 20lbs of boneless blade roast for 1.99lb. I searched high and low for pot roast recipes using this cut of beef, but couldnt find any. Someone( Hi Rhonda) from another bulletin board suggested using Lipton Onion soup mix. I remembered that from years and years ago and I thought that was a pretty good idea. Of course I bought the No Name brand of soup mix. I also added cut up onions, bay leaves, baby carrots, no salt chopped tomatoes ( canned), water and 2 cans of golden mushroom soup. I was going to sear off the beef, but decided against that( I'll get to the reasons later). I started it at 11am and by 3pm I got a call telling me it was still basically raw. My original ideal was to refridgerate it and cook it again tomorrow for 3 more hours. The coordinators decided to leave it on all night( 14hrs) from 4pm when they leave the office until 8:30am when I pick it up in the morning. They're going to move the temp to 200F. Hopefully, that won't ruin it. Personally, I think 14 hours is way too long, but they didnt feel comfortable bringing it to my house so I could watch it. I guess its out of my hands now.

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Stupid question, but are you sure that the roaster/crock pot thing is working? One would think that it would be at least hot after four hours. That being said, you are certainly "off the hook" since you were not the one to decide to cook the meat for 14 hours!

I saw the pictures of the "daisy cake" on your blog. Yum! At least the seniors are going to have a fabulous dessert, regardless of what happens to the meat. :raz:

PS I am stealing your recipe for the daisy cake - I have a bunch of leftover coconut from holiday baking . . . .

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If you want to do pot roast again in the future, my favorite way came from a wonderful diner in Raynham, MA (it's no longer there)...

Put the roast in the pot (works in a slow cooker or in the oven). Sometimes I sear the meat first, sometimes I don't. It's good both ways. Lay thinly sliced onions all over the top of it. Pour V8 juice (original flavor) into the pot until it comes about half-way up the meat.

Cook 6-8 hours on low in a slow cooker, or 3-4 hours covered in a 300F oven.

I add new potatoes and carrots and crank the heat up to 350F or so for the last 45 min - hour, uncovered... just enough to get the veg done and not leave them totally mushy.

This is the BEST pot roast I've ever had!

Pam

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Stupid question, but are you sure that the roaster/crock pot thing is working?  One would think that it would be at least hot after four hours.  That being said, you are certainly "off the hook" since you were not the one to decide to cook the meat for 14 hours!

I saw the pictures of the "daisy cake" on your blog.  Yum!  At least the seniors are going to have a fabulous dessert, regardless of what happens to the meat.  :raz:

PS  I am stealing your recipe for the daisy cake - I have a bunch of leftover coconut from  holiday baking . . . .

Hi,

Yep, the cooker was on. It felt hot by the time I left the office. They also said it was on, but since there is 20lbs of beef in it, it wasnt even close to being cooked.

The lazy daisy cake was really good, very tender. Its an old-fashioned recipe, so I'm sure they'll love it.

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Here is the recipe for the Lazy Daisy Cake since I dont think I posted it on my foodblog.

4 eggs

2 c. sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups AP flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

1/4 c. butter

Frosting

1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar

3/4 c. butter, melted( I felt like this was slightly too much)

1/2 c. half and half

2 cups flaked coconut

In bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick. Combine flour, powder and salt, add to egg mixture. In saucepan, bring milk and butter to a boil, add to batter, beat until combined. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 and Bake at 350 for 35-40min. Combine frosting ingredients, spread over warm cake. Broil until lightly brown 3-4 minutes.

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Randi...for your chicken pot pie, cook chicken and vegetables separately and combine in a big pot of chicken gravy/sauce supreme on top of the stove or in your roaster to keep warm. Use your oven for baking the biscuits and combine at table. I like it better this way, because biscuits get soggy if baked on top of the gravy mixture. You could call it chicken & biscuits instead of pot pie.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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

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The pot roast came out fine. It actually could have stood a few more hours. There were places that still had big globs of fat. They loved the roast. I served 30ppl with 6 takeouts.

Here is a takeout. They had cauliflower that I nuked in a zip and steam bag. Its topped with some cheddar.

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No one really commented on the cake. I thought for sure someone would recognize the recipe and say something, but alas nothing!!

Broccoli salad with cheddar, bacon, red onion and grapes. Dressing is mayo thinned with white wine vinegar and some sugar. I forgot to add the sunflower seeds( I actually forget them at the market)

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The next meal on March 13th is their Easter meal, but I'll be in Florida so someone else will be filling in for me.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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I just bought a giant pot roast on sale at FreshDirect--I'll be trying the V8 recipe, thank you!

Also--I made the Am Test Kitchen pot pie yesterday. Added diced carrots to the onions in the beginning and eliminated the peas as my spouse believes he is allergic to peas (he is allergic to a number of things, but I know he is not allergic to peas. But I humor him anyway.) Somehow, though, this did not take me 30 minutes--closer to 45, to be honest. But I like cooking so there's no harm in a bit more time.

Sorry this is all off-topic--but I do read this thread pretty regularly and wanted to let you know that you are not alone! The lazy-daisy cake sounds wonderful!

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OMG, Randi, that cake was a staple of my childhood ! Mom made it *all* the time...I think the recipe used to be on the back of the Bisquik box and it was called "something velvet cake". Wow. Haven't seen (or thought about that......) in several eons.

I do remember it being really really good.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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No one really commented on the cake.  I thought for sure someone would recognize the recipe and say something, but alas nothing!! 

I think the cake looks great (it looks so moist, even in the picture!), but I had never heard of Lazy Daisy cake in Canada. It's not even something we made in home ec. class, and we made a lot of "typical Canadian" recipes in that class. I wonder if it's more of an American thing?

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No one really commented on the cake.  I thought for sure someone would recognize the recipe and say something, but alas nothing!! 

I think the cake looks great (it looks so moist, even in the picture!), but I had never heard of Lazy Daisy cake in Canada. It's not even something we made in home ec. class, and we made a lot of "typical Canadian" recipes in that class. I wonder if it's more of an American thing?

One of my older volunteers said she knew it as a "Queen Elizabeth" cake. Does that ring a bell?

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we used to make Lazy Daisy Cake at home, on the West Coast (BC, Canada) frequently. It's called Lazy Daisy because you can mix things together in one or two steps, and there is no frosting required. Yum!

Karen Dar Woon

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The Bisquick one was called Velvet Crumb Cake + from memory there were also nuts in the topping. it's delicious, esp for breakfast with a huge cup of coffee. Can provide recipe if needed, though I haven't made it in years (may rectify that tomorrow!)

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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  • 4 weeks later...

Today's meal.

Coleslaw( no pic)

frozen fish fillets( English style, so says the box)

Cook's Illustrated Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Roasted asparagus

Strawberry crisp w/ ice cream

Frozen Fish fillets were on sale for 3.99 box. I decided to get buy them because I've never made the Seniors fish and I'd heard thru the grapevine that another cook served them and they were well received. To round it out, I made homeade mac and cheese and fresh roasted asparagus. I also used fresh strawberries to make a "crisp". That recipe came from The Cake Mix Doctor. It was simple, just berries, cake mix( I used an organic one) and butter.

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I think everyone liked it. I'm not sure though because no one said anything to me. I had 4 takeouts and 28 people sitting. I was told to cook for 40 so of course I'm now over budget.

Honestly, I'm getting pretty burnt out from this job. I know this because I dont feel like putting much effort into the meals anymore. I'm making Ham next time because I bought it on sale for 1.49lb( froze it) and its easy and they love it( and won't complain) For their Easter meal, the cook who filled in for me, made scalloped potatoes with cream of mushroom soup( they loved it, or so I heard). I make them with heavy cream and chicken stock and I hear nothing!!

The thing is, I know I'm a good cook and baker( I have people calling requesting my baked goods at my other job), but its really frustrating to hear nothing but complaints. Maybe my skin isnt thick enough for this job.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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The thing is,  I know I'm a good cook and baker( I have people calling requesting my baked goods at my other job), but its really frustrating to hear nothing but complaints.  Maybe my skin isnt thick enough for this job.

I don't think it has anything to do with the thickness of your skin. Many people just have no appreciation for good food. To the contrary, in fact. Many people prefer bad food. I guess the reason could be that they are more familiar with bad food, and have developed a preference for it. I knew a person who truthfully stated that his favorite restaurant was Taco Bell. He wasn't kidding. This was a professional man in his mid-40's who had the means to dine anywhere that he desired and was otherwise normal!

The asparagus looks absolutely perfect, by the way.

And no one could blame you if you throw in the towel. You've certainly given it more than 100%! But I sure will miss this thread . . . . :sad:

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I think it might have more to do with how tastebuds change as people age. They tend to develop an almost obsessive love of "very salty" and "very sweet" tastes, and certainly foods made with the likes of tinned soups and commercial frostings, etc. will fit the bill more readily than quality foods made from quality products.

My grandfather was a shining example - his whole life he ate very well, but by the time he was elderly enough to need to be in a home, all he had much time for were those thick, gloppy "cream of" salty soups (with salted crackers), and Twinkies. Man, he loved twinkies!! He could never get enough - and they're not anything he would ever have bothered with before. He complained that other foods just "didn't have a taste".

I really wouldn't take it personally. I don't think it's worth fighting to change an inevitable decline in taste - especially for those late in life - , but what you'll need to decide is if you can continue to do this job and give them what they want, or if to do so goes too against your thoughts and beliefs about food and the cook that you are (I hope that makes sense!!)

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I think you're doing an admirable job Cali!

Just keep in mind that many seniors, & by the way, I'm one of them, have raised their families on processed foods. They are familiar to them. I moved on years ago, but many have not. Sad to say, but if you have your heart set on changing the tastes of all of your diners, you probably have a losing battle on your hands.

Your meals show a lot of thought, just wish for your sake more of them were appreciated.

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The thing is,  I know I'm a good cook and baker( I have people calling requesting my baked goods at my other job), but its really frustrating to hear nothing but complaints.  Maybe my skin isnt thick enough for this job.

Randi, I feel your pain. :biggrin: (I think I already told you my story about how Mr. E, when asked what is his favorite among the dinners I've made for him, enthusiatically nominates the "Hamburger Helper Stroganoff" made exactly according to the box directions. :rolleyes: )

It could just be, as others have suggested, that these diners' tastebuds are just shot from plain old age. It could be that they've been brought up with narrow tastes, and at this advanced age they're just not willing or able to change.

Or it could just be plain old orneriness--that urge to just complain about whatever the current setup is, just because it's there. In fact, I'm willing to bet cash money that, if you did decide you'd had enough of these folks and quit, that your successor would hear a lot of complaints along the lines of "Why don't you cook more like our last cook Randi? We really liked her stuff!" :rolleyes:

FWIW, Mr. E has gotten to be a much better sport about being noodged beyond his culinary comfort zone--but then, he and I have a 1-on-1 relationship with a lot more give-and-take. And I also make sure to put the Hamburger Helper Stroganoff on the menu freqently enough to keep his culinary world well-anchored.

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