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Cooking for 50 Senior Citizens


CaliPoutine
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Oh, crazy, I JUST made that cobbler last weekend, for a Mother's Day barbecue, only I used the jarred peaches, and frozen raspberries. Good stuff.

I think for this weekend's barbecue, I'm gonna replicate that salad. Looks good. I love a good cucumber salad, but I never thought of putting shredded cheese in it. Nice.

I look at this thread a lot, (and Ducky's "feeding Mr. E" thread) for ideas when I have to feed my parents and their peers. Great comfort food.

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Oh, crazy, I JUST made that cobbler last weekend, for a Mother's Day barbecue, only I used the jarred peaches, and frozen raspberries.  Good stuff. 

I think for this weekend's barbecue, I'm gonna replicate that salad. Looks good. I love a good cucumber salad, but I never thought of putting shredded cheese in it.  Nice.

I look at this thread a lot, (and Ducky's "feeding Mr. E" thread) for ideas when I have to feed my parents and their peers.  Great comfort food.

Thanks. I would have loved to use fresh mozzarella, but its expensive. I only bought the cheese because it was on sale. 3.97 for a 400g of shredded cheese is considered cheap. I could buy 2 in MI for that price, but I'm not allowed to shop in the states anymore unless I donate the item.

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I certainly hope the gifts on that table in the photo are for you! :biggrin:

Great meal; I look forward to making the salad.

Hahaha, I wish. They're door prizes!!. The seniors bring them in and then they're given away. Kinda funny if you ask me.

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Excellent meal!! You did score on those tenderloins... :raz:

Do you have music in the background. A few upbeat oldies would probably liven things up a bit. My grandmother used to go to Council of Aging meetings every week. They were the highlight of her week. She always came home talking about somebody :biggrin:

Rhonda

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Do you have music in the background

No we dont. I keep meaning to bring a radio in while I cook because its pretty quiet.

The seniors spend a lot of time chit-chatting back and forth and there is usually some form of entertainment after the meal.

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I'm liking the look of that pork paprikash.  Got the small batch recipe?

Randi, do you ever get asked, by the seniors, for your recipes?

I'm so glad that you are continuing to post this thread. For a while, it sounded as though you were becoming beyond discouraged, and I was sad for you. It's tricky to serve a large group, as sometimes the most vocal nay-sayers are indeed the minority.

My knowledge of Ontario micro-geography is not strong. Do you have access to farm-shopping in season? Perhaps your program coordinator could arrange for "gleaning" to happen... ya know, where farmers allow volunteers to pick up the extra harvest. There's a tree-fruit sharing project in Vancouver which contributes to the food bank, community programs, etc., and in our Richmond neighborhood, a farm project which grows for the food bank & low income.

Karen Dar Woon

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Randi, do you ever get asked, by the seniors, for your recipes?

I've never been asked by the seniors, however the volunteers usually ask.

A few of the seniors did ask where I got the rhubarb a few weeks back.

There really isnt any CSA's or the like around here. Although there is something called a Good Food box( a box of random stuff put together and dropped at the hospital). I'm not sure who puts the boxes together or if the produce is even local.

There are a few farms within a short distance where I'll be able to buy local produce. I still find the cost of produce around here to be very reasonable. I just picked up 5 english cukes for .69 each(on sale). I got some Vidalia onions for .99lb. I also got hot house tomatoes on sale for .79lb. Local asparagus is 1.49lb at one store, 2.99 at another.

I'm filling in for another cook on Wednesday but I'll only be cooking for 20ppl. I'm making the same meal, however I'm making a different dessert.

All it takes is a few compliments and I'm back to being a happy camper :biggrin:

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i honestly don't know how you do this. after being employed as a caregiver for ONE (very bitchy) ninety year old woman for a year and a half, I'm sick of cooking for her. no matter what i make, it's not right. and i know how to cook tasty food!

i have nightmares about trying to please fifty of them. Your food looks awesome. the variety and freshness is great. a hundred times better than all the retirement centers i've worked in.

anyway, i just wanted to say how impressed i am with your resilience!

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i honestly don't know how you do this. after being employed as a caregiver for ONE (very bitchy)  ninety year old woman for a year and a half, I'm sick of cooking for her. no matter what i make, it's not right. and i know how to cook tasty food!

i have nightmares about trying to please fifty of them. Your food looks awesome. the variety and freshness is great. a hundred times better than all the retirement centers i've worked in.

anyway, i just wanted to say how impressed i am with your resilience!

Thanks. I actually worked at a retirement home last year( I was on call) and I HATED it. I had the food service manager order Kosher salt, olive oil and red wine vinegar. I was the only cook( out of 8) that used any of those products. The food was horrid, cheap and overcooked( I'd see cooks steam frozen chicken breasts in a veg steamer instead of properly thawing it out and then poaching it). I hated going into work.

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The food was horrid, cheap and overcooked

One of the criteria when I started the Community Meal contract last year was that I should avoid "cheap, grey, poor-people food".

Karen Dar Woon

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I filled in today for another cook. She cooks at the program in my town on Tuesdays and a nearby town on Wednesdays. My program is only 2x a month.

This program has very few diners. It's hard for me to cook for such small numbers. I only used 4 pork tenderloins and had way too much. I made the same meal with a different dessert. Three tweens from the middle school in town come to help( its their community service).

Here is an action shot. They were singing O' Canada before they ate. My coordinator is wearing the red( far right). She asked me if I could make potatoes the next time I cook at my program( sigh).

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The program is held in the towns arena. The kitchen is really big!!

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Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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What's "poor-people food"?  It sounds like something my mother would say! :laugh:

Firstly, the terminology is not one I would use. Let's just be clear about that :raz:

But I think what is being referred to is: sketchy-looking casseroles with grey-ish sauce from a tin, containing an unidentifyable protein, and soggy frozen vegetables. Generally, visually unappealing, and with little or no discernable flavor or texture. I recall one of the volunteers referring to "fish-bone cakes" which were supposed to be fishcakes (?)

Karen Dar Woon

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  • 4 weeks later...

I cook tomorrow for the Seniors.

Baked salmon( 4 frozen filets in 1 package on special for 3.99)

baked potatoes

vinegar based cole slaw

french cut green beans( frozen)

frozen strawberry dessert( from Kraft.ca magazine)

These grocery prices are killing me. I'm about 15.00 over my budget.

I had a meeting today with my coordinator. She is leaving the position and someone else will be replacing her. When I was in Florida, another cook from a different program filled in. She made a roast and mashed potatoes. My coordinator wanted to tell me that I could make a roast the day before at the office if I want and then reheat it. I said " I'd make a roast in the past and they complained".

She said........, Well, that roast was raw!! There was blood coming out if it.

Excuse me?? Granted, I dont cook beef that often, but I pulled it at 155F and it was nicely pink. I give up!! She also said I should just make potatoes every single time!!!

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Tonights meal.

I made a tartare sauce to go with the salmon. I used the recipe from Joy of Cooking. It has cornichons, shallot, hard cooked egg, mayo and capers.

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I also made a vinegar based coleslaw. I used packaged cole slaw mix, english cukes, red pepper, carrot. The brine is vinegar, water sugar and salt. I also used some celery seed.

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I used frozen green beans. I brought some sliced almonds from home( bought at Trader Joes) and sauteed them in some butter. Of course one lady had to complain that the beans werent cooked. Excuse me? Arent they already blanched before they're frozen? I just can't friggen win. I wont be buying these anymore. I refuse to cook the living crap out of them.

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Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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The salmon came 4 to a package( frozen). I defosted, poured some evoo on top. I used Old Bay and some fresh dill.

uncooked.

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cooked

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They really liked it.

I can't remember the name of this. Its from some food magazine that Kraft put out. Its oreo crumbs on the bottom, fresh strawberries( local) mixed with sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and whipped topping. They loved it.

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I dont cook again until the end of July as we're going to Halifax for a family reunion.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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Wow, you really kick butt, Cali!

Salmon looks like a picture.  I love the lemon on each piece.

Thanks, I got a bag of 9 lemons and 2 limes on the reduced rack for 1.99. I dont know why they were there, they still looked pretty good ( to me anyway). Btw, the regular price of 1 lemon is .79. Limes are 3 for 1.00.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

I made Kim Shook's faux ice cream tort today for the Seniors dessert on Thursday. I wanted it to get really firm and I wont have time to make it on Thursday.

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The only thing I left out is the cherries. I went to the store to buy these ice cream sandwiches that are on sale this week. Ice cream is really a misnomer, since the first ingredient is water and the second is "modified milk ingredients". Anyway, the store didnt have the brand that was on for 1.99. They subbed out nestle brand and when the stock person told the cashier to ring it up as 8 @ 1.99. She accidentally rang it up as 8 @ .19 cents. I noticed this as I left the store, but shame on me, I was running late so I just let it go. Anyway, I suppose I'll make my budget this week.

I was told today at the budget is going up to 3.50 a person instead of 3.00.

The rest of the meal is

Chicken and dumplings

brocolli salad w/ grapes and bacon

The dumpling part of the chicken/dumpling is really a refridgerated biscuit dough that is cut into strips and added to the stew. The whole mess is made in the crock pot. I picked this meal because the kitchen is about 90F and I dont want to use the ovens.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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They'll probably love the chicken-n-dumplings.

But regarding the cashier's mistake, perhaps you should contact them and offer to send a check. 8 @ $1.99 vs what was rang up at 8 for $0.19 is only about $14 to you and you'll get reimbursed. An added bonus is that you won't have to feel guilty about it forever. I can guarantee you that if they overcharged you the same amount, you would have found a few minutes to turn around and make the situation right.

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They'll probably love the chicken-n-dumplings.

But regarding the cashier's mistake, perhaps you should contact them and offer to send a check.  8 @ $1.99 vs what was rang up at 8 for $0.19 is only about $14 to you and you'll get reimbursed.  An added bonus is that you won't have to feel guilty about it forever.  I can guarantee you that if they overcharged you the same amount, you would have found a few minutes to turn around and make the situation right.

The Senior agency has a house charge, so I dont deal with money, etc. I fully plan to go there this week and let them know the mistake. I was just in too much of a rush yesterday.

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Brocolli salad. Broccoli and red and green grapes were on sale for .99. Bacon was on sale for 2.99. I added some sunflower seeds and made a dressing with light mayo, vinegar and sugar.

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They enjoyed the chicken and dumplings, but wanted to know why they didnt get any rolls. The dumplings were added after this pic was taken. Its just refridgerated biscuit dough thats cut into strips. They just didnt understand the concept. I served this was ever present mashed poatoes.

They loved the dessert. Some even asked for seconds.

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