Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking for 50 Senior Citizens


CaliPoutine
 Share

Recommended Posts

Phew, I'm exhausted. Making that stew was a lot of work. I can't fathom what it would have been like to make it tomorrow.

I think I made way too much. I bought 18lbs of stew meat and 21lbs of potatoes. I used the recipe Kerry gave me, but I reduced the quantities of the onions and garlic and spices. Basically, the recipe called for 1.5lbs of meat for 6 ppl so I thought if I had 18lbs I'd multiply the recipe by 12. Well, that would have had me using over 50 garlic cloves and 36 onions. I used 5 onions, 3 leeks and 1 entire head of garlic. I also brought almost a full bottle of wine from home. Robin, my spouse bought it about a month ago and drank maybe 1 or 2 glasses. It's been fermenting in the bottle since then. ( It still smelled ok). Anyway, I guess I just donated that wine.

Here are some pics

gallery_25969_665_496848.jpg

gallery_25969_665_120261.jpg

gallery_25969_665_569934.jpg

After the stew cooled slightly, I transfered both pots into this large stock pot. This is a lot of stew!!

gallery_25969_665_224835.jpg

My Jewish guilt was rearing her ugly head and I felt kinda bad that I was cooking for the seniors while I was working for Barb.

So, my Canadian girl Robin came up this morning to cut up the 29lbs of spuds. Thank gawd she did, because it took her about an hour to cut them all up. Thanks honey!!

gallery_25969_665_714641.jpg

I had some more time while the wedding cakes were baking so Barb told me to go ahead and use her ingredients and make the Thousand Island dressing. So I did. I'll give her back the ingredients tomorrow.

So tomorrow I have to bake 50 shortcakes and oven roast a bunch of veg. I have so much potato left so I'm going to roast those with carrots and turnip. Barb gave me 6lbs of parsnips to put in the stew since she was going to throw them out.

I'm exhausted, I need to go rest up for tomorrow.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So tomorrow I have to bake 50 shortcakes and oven roast a bunch of veg.  I have so much potato left so I'm going to roast those with carrots and turnip.  Barb gave me 6lbs of parsnips to put in the stew since she was going to throw them out. 

I'm exhausted, I need to go rest up for tomorrow.

Randi, Shortcake tastes just as good baked in pans and cut into squares. SO much less work. :wink:

I'd rather have a tablespoon of real whipped cream than a cup of CoolWhip. Someone needs to do a price comparison on those two.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ruth, great idea.  I'm going to do just that with the shortcakes.

As far as the whipped cream goes it cost 3.69 for 500mls(1 pint).  Cool whip is 1.49 for 1L. 

I'll price out a quart of whipping cream and then decide.

Last quart of whipping cream I got at Fortinos was $5.99. Cheaper at Costco but that's all the way to London for you I suspect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ruth, great idea.  I'm going to do just that with the shortcakes.

As far as the whipped cream goes it cost 3.69 for 500mls(1 pint).  Cool whip is 1.49 for 1L. 

I'll price out a quart of whipping cream and then decide.

Last quart of whipping cream I got at Fortinos was $5.99. Cheaper at Costco but that's all the way to London for you I suspect.

Yep, I'd have to go to London for Costco. I'll be shopping at No Frills which is the cheapest store around here.

How much whipping cream do you think I'd need?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...

As far as the whipped cream goes it cost 3.69 for 500mls(1 pint).  Cool whip is 1.49 for 1L. 

I'll price out a quart of whipping cream and then decide.

I think that heavy whipping cream approximately doubles its volume when whipped. So I think that would be similar in price to the Cool Whip according to the prices and volumes you mentioned above.

If each dessert will used about 3 Tbs of whipped cream and you had 50 servings that would be 150 Tbs. of whipped cream needed. If you need half that volume of heavy whipping cream you need 75 Tbs. There are 16 Tbs in one cup; so it would look like 75/16 = 4.7 cups. Rounding up it would be a quart plus a cup (5 cups).

Do you think 3 Tbs of whipped cream is enough for each dessert? Seems like it might be if the whipped cream is mixed with the berries.

Four Tbs of whipped cream per dessert and using the same reasoning as above the amount needed would be: 6 cups or a quart + a pint.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the dinner that almost didn't happen. We can thank the lovely weather in SW Ontario for that. I'm supposed to leave my house at 11am. However, I was still here at 11:30 waiting to hear if the meal was still a go because 14 seniors called to cancel their reservation. The sun was bright and shiny here so I said I would attempt the drive and see if the weather was ok. The church is right across the street from the Lake and we get a lot of lake effect snow. I made it to Grand Bend no problem so we decided to go ahead with the meal.

We ended up with 35 ppl to serve. Before I heated up the stew, I filled two 4L plastic containers with stew and froze it. I knew Id have too much. We sold 8 takeouts and had no stew or veg or dessert left.

gallery_25969_665_205367.jpg

gallery_25969_665_829596.jpg

gallery_25969_665_137940.jpg

gallery_25969_665_517055.jpg

gallery_25969_665_84593.jpg

I used 3 600gram bags of frozen berries. 1 strawberry, 1 raspberry and 1 mixed berry. I added some sugar.

and this is just for Ruth.....

gallery_25969_665_619393.jpg

1 L( or US quart) gave me enough cream for 36 shortcakes and 4 sugar free jellos.

gallery_25969_665_441834.jpg

gallery_25969_665_448540.jpg

I'm so glad Ruth suggested baking the shortcakes in one pan. I just cut them into squares and then split each in half. It worked out great. I'm also really glad I bought the whipping cream. I think I spent around 100 bucks for this meal. I bought a few staples for the kitchen; coarse salt, brown sugar and oatmeal.

Once again, I'm glad today is over!!!

Thanks again for all your great suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks great and I'm glad you got to use the real whipped cream! I'll bet they really appreciated the entire meal.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update:

So, I spoke to the meat guy at the grocery store about the boneless blade roast that was on sale.  He said he could give me something even better for the same price ( chuck tender).  I've never heard of that cut, so I'm hoping its good.  I asked him if he'd cut it up into stew pieces and he agreed. ( less work for me). 

Chuck tenders are a great cut of meat. They usually have a lot of surface silver skin that I like to trim before cutting up the meat. Hopefully your meat guy will do that.

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great looking dinner Randi.  You must be very proud. 

Now I guess it's 'what's on sale for next week'?

Yep, or the following week. The dining program runs the second and fourth Thursday of the month.

When I ordered the beef( and yes, the meat guy did trim it up) I picked up 10 roasting chickens. They were on sale for the ridiculously low price of 99cents a pound. They're normally 2.70lb. They are currently sitting in the freezer at the agency. So, if nothing else looks good, I could always do those.

The next dining program is the closest date to Valentines Day so I'll need to do a Vday themed dessert. I'm thinking a cupcake with red/pink sprinkles.

Any other ideas?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great looking dinner Randi.  You must be very proud. 

Now I guess it's 'what's on sale for next week'?

Yep, or the following week. The dining program runs the second and fourth Thursday of the month.

When I ordered the beef( and yes, the meat guy did trim it up) I picked up 10 roasting chickens. They were on sale for the ridiculously low price of 99cents a pound. They're normally 2.70lb. They are currently sitting in the freezer at the agency. So, if nothing else looks good, I could always do those.

The next dining program is the closest date to Valentines Day so I'll need to do a Vday themed dessert. I'm thinking a cupcake with red/pink sprinkles.

Any other ideas?

I can't really think valentines without thinking chocolate - or cours de creme (?sp) but they'd be too expensive.

Does the pasta prohibition include noodles? I'm just thinking the next main dish could be some sort of protein with noodles. or butter chicken, not too spicy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations to you for having as your goal "home cooked" fresh food for your seniors. This is a topic that is near to my heart as my mother just moved into an assisted living facility.

While the facility is quite nice, the food is definately sub-standard, despite many, many complaints by the residents. The problems are typical, I think......not enough fresh veg (mostly frozen), alot of pre-prepared foods (chicken cordon blue from a box), dry overcooked fish and tough meat.

Your goals are admirable. We must remember that the quality of the food for seniors is very important. There needs are not "gourmet", but as meal time is a high point of their day, it is important that it is tasty and well prepared.

Life is short, eat dessert first

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations to you for having as your goal "home cooked" fresh food for your seniors.  This is a topic that is near to my heart as my mother just moved into an assisted living facility.

While the facility is quite nice, the food is definately sub-standard, despite many, many complaints by the residents.  The problems are typical, I think......not enough fresh veg (mostly frozen), alot of pre-prepared foods (chicken cordon blue from a box), dry overcooked fish and tough meat.

Your goals are admirable.  We must remember that the quality of the food for seniors is very important.  There needs are not "gourmet", but as meal time is a high point of their day, it is important that it is tasty and well prepared.

I could not agree more, however, it ramps up the cost so much it outprices itself. I understand that with proper management the price factor might become more balanced, but then you have to pay a good manager who can train their folks the proper handling of food etc. Obtain fresh produce that is high maintenance, making daily decisions on what's cost effective, viable etc. Nothing worthwhile is easy is it.

Of course just getting someone to make the food they do get appetizing would be a plus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great looking dinner Randi.  You must be very proud. 

Now I guess it's 'what's on sale for next week'?

Yep, or the following week. The dining program runs the second and fourth Thursday of the month.

When I ordered the beef( and yes, the meat guy did trim it up) I picked up 10 roasting chickens. They were on sale for the ridiculously low price of 99cents a pound. They're normally 2.70lb. They are currently sitting in the freezer at the agency. So, if nothing else looks good, I could always do those.

The next dining program is the closest date to Valentines Day so I'll need to do a Vday themed dessert. I'm thinking a cupcake with red/pink sprinkles.

Any other ideas?

Since you can freeze meat, there should be good prices on whole pork shoulders or legs in mid winter. $1/lb is typical but last year I even saw :rolleyes: $.79

Would they eat cracklin'? If not the skin and bones would make stock.

How did your costs work out? Freezing the extra stew was smart, but you were put in an awkward spot when you had to plan ahead, buy ahead, and put up with cancellations. The weather in Toronto was clear but cold on Robbie Burns day, and I did not hear of any snow squalls off Lake Huron.

I agree with Kerry, a job well done, and congrats from all of us looking in on this project :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How did your costs work out?

I actually came in under budget because my caterering boss gave me 6 bags of parsnips, beef stock and I donated 6 cans of tomatoes that I bought for 24 cents each for personal use. They were Unico and I've since discovered San Marzano's so I wont use anything else but those. I also donated 3/4 of a bottle of expensive wine. I took home a bit of stew for my furry children though : )

I spent close to 100 for 35 ppl, but part of that money was for staples which dont count towards the 3 buck per person limit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:wub: Thank you for the whipped cream! :wub:

I used to occasionally volunteer cook for a halfway house, and the director made SUCH a big deal out of it when I made homemade chocolate pudding with real whipped cream.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CaliPoutine, and anyone else on this thread who is cooking for seniors,

You are one hell of a wonderful person. You are putting so much creative energy and enthusiasm into your job, it's bringing tears to my eyes.

My mother lives in a low-income senior apartment building. She really gets into the monthly birthday meals and special occassion meals they have there. I like to think there are people behind it like you.

I hope your kindness is returned to you ten fold.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...