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CaliPoutine

Cooking for 50 Senior Citizens

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Randi - that stinks.  What an ugly way for someone to act.  Especially when she is so new.  No people skills, obviously.  I've worked with people like that and I've never had one improve on aging.  I hope things go better for you and that she realizes what a treasure she has in you.  You have a clear record of what you've fed them and what they liked and didn't - why not show her that.  I'd ignore her ugly actions and just pretend that she has the good motives that you do - feeding those folks, good, healthy food that doesn't go over budget.  Assume you are on the same page and she won't have any choice but to act nice or show her true colors.  If you can't work with her, it's better to know now before you agonize over it for ages.  Thinking of you!  <<<<hugs>>>>!

Thanks. I've spent the afternoon writing out all my menus. I've printed it off and will bring it in on Thursday. In 2 yrs, I've served store bought pie 4x. I served storebought Pumpkin pie on thanksgiving and xmas. They were 2.50 each( I can't even bake a pie for that). A can of pumpkin is over 3.00 here. No one has ever complained about "store bought" pie before.

I honestly dont have enough time to bake 7 pies from scratch while trying to make a meal for 40ppl( we only have 2 regular ovens).

I'm just so flaming mad at the tone of her letter. Btw, not that this is really relevant, but she just stood around and watched me in the kitchen. She never helped at all( the other coordinators do dishes and help clean up).

She has no experience as an office worker, she's worked for the company for 10yrs, but she was a person who went into the Seniors home to clean or help with personal care.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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Honestly, if I were you, I'd 'retire' & let this beeyotch do the cooking herself, to get a taste of real life. I bet they'd be begging for you to come back after the first meal-she sounds clueless...

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Wow. I can't believe that letter! I can't wait to hear how your meeting goes. I agree it might be time to move on. I love how people who have never done the job and HAVE NEVER EVEN TAKEN THE TIME TO TALK TO YOU know best. And yes, I was yelling just there. Sorry. Grr.

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As my spouse pointed out, its obvious that she has never been in a supervisory position before. My spouse( who is in charge of 50ppl) was appalled at that letter. Robin suggested I might go to her supervisor, but I will sit down with her and talk about the issues she raised.

I'm calmer now that I wrote out my point of view regarding the issues she raised.

Thanks for all your support!!

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It definitely helps to write stuff down, and vent to an audience, like this. Now that it's all out of your system, maybe you can bring your note, your menus, and your budgeting problems to this new person. Also maybe invite her to watch your typical day, in action, and see how the seniors are used to eating. She sounds a little overzealous, with a nice dash of cluelessness. Hopefully, she'll listen to you, and open her damn eyes.

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Randi.

You have a lot of great skills, and have been responding to feedback from your guests in planning the menus. And staying within the budget constraints. Good for you for keeping all those notes!

Best to you w/ the meeting on Thursday. I have a meeting w/ one of my bosses, too... in regards to a change in my compensation for the Community Meal.

Btw, not that this is really relevant, but she just stood around and watched me in the kitchen. She never helped at all(the other coordinators do dishes and help clean up).

SO relevant, actually. Did the new person even speak to you while she watched? It would be interesting to see what is in the Job Description for the coordinator, as well as what is in your Job Description (as pertains to menu and budgeting)


Karen Dar Woon

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She sounds a little overzealous, with a nice dash of cluelessness. 

Ooooh, that's a great description! I think I'm going to have to steal that one!

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Randi.

You have a lot of great skills, and have been responding to feedback from your guests in planning the menus. And staying within the budget constraints. Good for you for keeping all those notes!

Best to you w/ the meeting on Thursday. I have a meeting w/ one of my bosses, too... in regards to a change in my compensation for the Community Meal.

Btw, not that this is really relevant, but she just stood around and watched me in the kitchen. She never helped at all(the other coordinators do dishes and help clean up).

SO relevant, actually. Did the new person even speak to you while she watched? It would be interesting to see what is in the Job Description for the coordinator, as well as what is in your Job Description (as pertains to menu and budgeting)

I set the meeting for Friday. I looked at the Cook's manual and everything she is asking of me is in direct conflict with the manual.

For instance. I'm NOT to go over budget. I'm to allow 1/2 c. of rice/pot per person. 1/3lb of meat. I'm not supposed to buy food so that there is extra for takeouts. There is nothing in the manual about me making every single dessert from scratch.

I would love to transcribe the entire letter and post it here. Its really unbelievable. It borders on harrasment.

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When you go shopping for the beef next time - Get written approval from her to spend more than your 2$ a LB. That way if the higher ups try and come down on you for going over buget you have your defence all ready to go.

And Document, document, document! Take notes at the meeting and have her sign them so there can be no arguments later about what happened.

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Hi, I've never spoken up on this thread before, but I often read it and I was really annoyed when I read about the way your new supervisor reacted to you. If I may make a suggestion, please stand up to her and tell her that she is incorrect. Tell her that you have been working there a lot longer than she has, and that you know exactly what you are doing and how to cook to the seniors' tastes. Also, be really clear with her about the budget and about food waste issues. She sounds like she really hasn't got a clue, but a big mouth, and it seems to me that she'll try and walk all over you and behave like a know-it-all unless you put her in her place. No need to be rude or anything, just make sure she gets the message.

Keep up the good work, I know my Nan would love to be cooked for by someone like you, your seniors don't know how lucky they are!

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The meeting is over. It lasted an hour. I went in with pictures, a list of every menu I've prepared since I started, the policy manual w/ tabs so I could flip to the pertinent parts , the grocery add and her highlighted letter.

She tore into me as soon as I sat down. First she asked me if I eat out in restaurants here and I said " No, I'm not happy with the food in this town, so I cook at home". She said " if people dont like what we're serving, they're not going to come back.

I whipped out her highlighted letter and told her that she was discriminating against me based on orign( " I dont know where you're from") which was clearly against company policy. I also said the letter was threatening " You can decline to work with me".

I also told her something that Kerry pointed out " Are you willing to listen to what I want". I said " shouldnt it be what the seniors want". You told me to make peas and carrots and they hate peas.

Well, as soon as the letter came out, she totally backpedaled telling me to " Oh, just rip up that letter and lets start again". She said she was frustrated.

I said that she was attacking me based on one meal. She had pictures of other meals that I've made and she pulled those out along with the new pics. She said everything looks fantastic. Except, she pulled out a pic of beef stew gallery_25969_665_517055.jpg

and said the bowls wasnt full enough. I said that "overflowing" bowls is in direct conflict with the manual. She said the bowls looke chintzy. I said maybe the bowls are too big. I also said that I dont see how they'd pass "overflowing bowls" around the table. They're old people!!

She changed her attitude towards me once I said that my spouse suggested I go to her supervisor based on the abusive letter. She then started asking me what we can do to make things better. I suggested her making up a survery( she liked that idea) about favorite meals, least favorite veg, etc.

I also suggested selling tickets to reduce the amount of no shows. She wasnt keen on that but she said she'd start calling ppl to see if they were coming( there is a set list of the same ppl each time). I told her I'd need to know by Monday.

She also suggested I plan ahead and buy for the freezer( duh, I've been doing that since I started). She wants me to buy extra vegetables( I said fine).

She pointed out that one table didnt like that I only allowed 1 slice of tomato per person. I said " once again, thats according to the manual". I said " there was more tomato in the kitchen and if they wanted more( which some did), I can cut it up as needed( which I did).

She said she didnt like that I served "store bought" pie back to back. I said " in the almost 2 yrs I've been doing this, I've only served storebought dessert 4 times. I said " older ppl like pie, I was giving them what they want". I told her the pies were local( once again, in the manual" and were fresh baked that morning. When I picked them up at 1pm, they were still warm.

She said that I am very good on budget( I was under budget this last meal). I did concede that the fish wasnt good and I should have bought something else.

She said " we have to give the seniors what they want, they want meat and potatoes". I said " I'm not going to cook a roast every single time.

We talked about the roasts that are on sale this week. Its either a boneless blade roast( 1.99lb) or an eye or round roast (2.00lb). I did some research on the eye of round and it said it was a tough cut. Thats the roast I made in January that they thought was tough. I said " the only roasts that are good for oven roasting are expensive cuts". We decided I'd do a pot roast( I made one I believe back in February and they loved it, it cooked in the crock pot all day and overnight". She then said " Can we do mashed potatoes"? She went from telling me what to do, to asking me what to do. LOL

I told her that no one has ever complained about my food before I started working here. I also told her that they want me to be their cook in my town. I said the clientele in this town is different. They're snobby and they're complainers. I said " I can guarantee you'll get complaints next week about something".

She also asked me if I can do something with peaches. I said I was planning on trifle because pound cake is on sale. I'll do a peach trifle. I told her it was going to look like a messy trifle because I make it in a punch bowl and its scooped out into small serving dishes. She thought maybe I could make 40 individual trifles in disposable( plastic) glasses. Yeah, ok talk about a waste of money and bad for the planet. I told her that was going to be very time consuming. She said she was going to look into getting smaller serving dishes so the bowls look fuller.

She apologized about the letter and her tone and said she was frustrated. Whatever!! She even offered to start the pot roast for me. I said " its part of my job, I'll come in on Wednesday and do it", I'll also be making the dessert. I told her I'll be arriving later on Thursday since I'll be putting in 2+ hrs the day before.

I felt better after I left, but I still think she isnt a nice person and I'm going to have problems down the road. Only time will tell.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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I just got a call from the supervisor. She wanted to let me know how a cook at another program cooks her roast. She buys an Outside round roast and cooks it from frozen. She puts it in a pan with a bit of water. She covers the pan with saran wrap and then foil( I didnt know you can cook saran wrap). She cooks it at 325f for 1/2 per pound. Does this sound right? Do you cook beef from frozen?

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There's a thread about that somewhere on here, I recall reading people having success with the eye round, cooked from frozen, though I've never tried it.

The only way I've been able to make that edible is salt it heavily and let it cure for a while, then wipe all the salt off, and cook it at 300, till it's rare. Your seniors would hate that, I'm sure, being rare, slightly chewy, and salty.

Excellent job on the meeting, I would say the woman came away from that with a different opinion of you, and hopefully a good deal more respect for your job. She was backpedaling all over the place, how satisfying. Ya done good.

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I just got a call from the supervisor.  She wanted to let me know how a cook at another program cooks her roast.  She buys an Outside round roast and cooks it from frozen.  She puts it in a pan with a bit of water.  She covers the pan with saran wrap and then foil( I didnt know you can cook saran wrap).  She cooks it at 325f for 1/2 per pound.  Does this sound right?  Do you cook beef from frozen?

don't know how it would work with thta type of roast but I PREFER to cook my tritips from frozen !

THE FROZEN BEEF TOPIC

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=112634&hl=

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To serve eye round you would have to slice it very thin. My mom always made eye round - she cooked it about 25 minutes a lb. waited until it cooled a bit and sliced with a meat slicer. Last superbowl party I made it that way the day before the party and reheated in brown gravy, everyone made hot roast beef sandwiches. If you don't have a meat slicer maybe the supermarket/butcher would slice it for you.

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My mom cooks shoulders from frozen occasionally (first post in that topic) -- usually for TV dinners we make for seniors (mostly). And she cooks them until just the underside of well. They stay nice and moist. We don't heavily salt, but our meat is kosher, so it's already been salted.

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I just got a call from the supervisor.  She wanted to let me know how a cook at another program cooks her roast.  She buys an Outside round roast and cooks it from frozen.  She puts it in a pan with a bit of water.  She covers the pan with saran wrap and then foil( I didnt know you can cook saran wrap).  She cooks it at 325f for 1/2 per pound.  Does this sound right?  Do you cook beef from frozen?

I made a recipe once that instructed me to do this and I ended up throwing it out. While it didn't melt into the food, it sort of shrink-wrapped itself around the food and imparted a bit of a plastic wrap taste. Safe? I don't know, but I wasn't willing to risk giving my family cancer over it. For a more scientific answer, I'm sure you could look on the web site of whatever brand of plastic wrap is in your kitchen or call their customer service number.

Of course, they're seniors. They're going to die soon anyway. Maybe they don't care about cancer causing chemicals. (I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know that's evil, I take it back.)

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Lots of pics tonight. I took a pic of everything except the potatoes and rolls.

So I was told we were having 32 ppl when I went to the main office yesterday to start the pot roast and dessert. When the coordinator got there, I was told there were many more cancellations. Guess how many we served? Only 21 showed up. I said to one of the volunteers( she comes to collect the money so she gets a reduced price meal) "They're missing a good meal tonight" and she said " well, it might be too late" and I said " what do you mean by that" and she said " They hated the meal last week". Ok, so I said " Oh, they hate all the homeade desserts I always make, the beautiful salads, the fresh veg? I then got up and walked away. Later, when a gentleman was paying I heard him say " I'll give it one more chance". I mean, Wow, I didnt think my cooking was that bad? These people have NO clue what they're in for when they get into a nursing home. My meals look like 5 star cuisine compared to those meals. I was pretty upset when I heard that.

But, I guess as long as I serve beef thats cooked to shit, I wont get complaints. I heard none tonight.

gallery_25969_665_810363.jpg

I used 2 packages of organic romaine hearts( 2.99 for 3), 1 head of iceburg( 99cents), 1 english cucumber( seeded, .79), 4 field tomatoes, a small head of red cabbage, a package of shreeded carrots( 1.99), a red onion( .50) and 3 red sheppard peppers. I used a package of an herbed goat feta cheese as well. I used a bottled dressing( aged balsamic and vinegar). I also threw on some ciabatta croutons. I had one table ask for a refill on salad( NO ONE has ever complained about my salads.

gallery_25969_665_125491.jpg

In the letter, I was told to make Peas and Carrots. So, thats what they got. I bought 2 (1kg) bags of peas( 1.97 each) and 2 bags of Europe's best Parissian style carrots( Whats up with that?). Those carrots are all that I could find frozen. They were 2.00 each. I ended up using both bags of carrots and 1 bag of peas. There was veg leftover, but it went into the 5 takeout meals I had.

gallery_25969_665_591963.jpg

The beef is blade roast. I bought 20lbs( or maybe slightly more). It was 1.99lb. I started it yesterday at 11am with babycarrots, onions, lipton onion soup, canned tomatoes( I pureed them), water and a golden mushroom soup. It cooked all night and when I went to pick it up at 1:30, it was out of the crock pot and in pans. I felt like it could use more time so when I got to the church, I sliced it up and put it back in the oven for 2 more hours. It was pretty tender. I made gravy with the strained drippings.

There was A LOT of beef leftover.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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gallery_25969_665_159204.jpg

Look at these gorgeous local peaches. I got two 3L baskets for 2.99 each. I made a trifle yesterday with a purchased pound cake( Farmer's Market brand, on sale for 3.00 each). I used 3 poundcakes, chopped peaches, a jar of smucker's apricot jam( I couldnt find peach jam), custard that I made with 2% milk and Byrd's custard powder. I whipped up a 500ml container of whipping cream( on sale for 2.00) and folded that into the custard. I layered the whole thing in a punch bowl. I garnished with another 500ml container of whipped cream and a slice of peach. The diabetics wanted plain peaches, no whipped cream.

gallery_25969_665_118952.jpg

All the food in the background is what was leftover. I made yukon gold potatoes ( expensive @ 4.99 for a 10lb bag). I used 1 full 10lb bag and half of another one.

gallery_25969_665_187416.jpg

So no complaints, but no compliments either. I think I'd faint if SOMEONE, anyone just said "Thanks" to me.

Monday I have a Cook's Meeting. Its for the entire agency. The lunch is being catered by a restaurant in Grand Bend. I heard we're having Chicken Cordon Bleu and this chef at this restaurant is our guest speaker. Should be interesting.

I was totally overbudget for this meal. I spent 127 and change. If everyone showed up, I sill would be about .50 cents a person overbudget, but I was told not to worry about that. " We need to impress this week". Yeah, ok.

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I dunno, Randi. I think it's time to find another job where you're more appreciated!


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I dunno, Randi.  I think it's time to find another job where you're more appreciated!

Believe me, I'm trying. There are NO jobs in my town and I dont relish the thought of driving to London in the Winter( I'm from Cali, remember, I'm not a good Winter driver)

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Why don't you come back home to California? The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and people are into good food.....

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