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Cooking for 50 Senior Citizens


CaliPoutine
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This is the dessert I'm making for the next meal.  Oat and Honey Granola Pie..  Granola bars were on sale for 1.00 a box.

I'll be using a Canadian product for the crust(tenderflake frozen crusts). 

I still have NO clue what the rest of the meal will be.  I need some good salad ideas?  Anyone?

The thing I have noticed with seniors and salad is that you have to consider the "teeth/denture" situation. The chewing of things like raw broccoli can be troublesome. I have found the older set enjoys a really simple mix of grated (in food processor) raw carrots, vanilla yogurt (can be sugar free) and raisins. After it sits a while the carrots soften and at least to me it is almost dessert like but they like it with a meal. Wow- major kudos on trying all this in the face of so much "institutional" thinking.

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What about some variation of a Waldorf salad? There's a certain nostalgic appeal to it. Walnuts might be too costly, but apples, raisins, celery, and mayo shouldn't be too expensive. And then you could probably use any leftover raisins in a bread pudding or an apple crisp.

Great work!

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Cucumber salad is always a big hit at parties. Peel and slice cucumbers. Dress with mayo, sour cream, apple cider vinegar and season with salt pepper and dill. You can add a little thinly sliced red onion if you wish.

Lisa

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Cucumber salad is always a big hit at parties. Peel and slice cucumbers. Dress with mayo, sour cream, apple cider vinegar and season with salt pepper and dill. You can add a little thinly sliced red onion if you wish.

Lisa

I have this on my list.

I spoke to the butcher today at the market. He tells me bone-in center cut pork chops will be on sale next week 2.49lb.

I'm hesitant to try these because I know chops tend to dry out. Anyone have a good tried and true recipe?

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A nice, simple room temperature broccoli salad option is to just toss blanched, as jdtofbna mentioned (not raw), broccoli in a seasoned lemon, olive oil vinaigrette. Depending on what else you are serving in the meal you can add some crushed red pepper and some grated hard cheese like pecorino romano or parmesean. The broccoli just need to be blanched for 5 min and its a good thing to shock them in some cold water if you can to stop the cookng and seal the color.

"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"

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I have this on my list.

I spoke to the butcher today at the market.  He tells me bone-in center cut pork chops will be on sale next week 2.49lb.

I'm hesitant to try these because I know chops tend to dry out.  Anyone have a good tried and true recipe?

Hey CaliP!

Does your butcher actually cut the chops himself? Or does he get them from his supplier already cut? If he cuts the chops himself, maybe he'd be willing to sell you the bone-in loin for the same price as the chops -- that way you would be able to roast a whole piece of meat, helping to avoid it from drying out.

I don't know if this salad would fit into your next meal plan, but I have a recipe for a fantastic and very simple roasted potato salad. Simple cut up your potatoes into bite sized pieces, throw onto a sheet pan and coat with olive oil. Roast in the oven until your potatoes are cooked and have taken on a little color. Let cool. Then toss the potatoes with some white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little bit of scallions/green onions. It's quite delicious and can be served cold or at room temperature.

Good luck on your next meal!

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Randy, here is a recipe for pork chops that do not come out dry. It may be more time consuming than you are looking for?

BAKED PORK CHOPS WITH PARMESAN-SAGE CRUST

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 large eggs

1/4 cup all purpose flour

4 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops (each about 1 inch thick)

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Lemon wedges (optional)

Orange wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, sage and lemon peel in pie dish. Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Place flour on plate; season generously with salt and pepper. Coat pork chops on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Dip chops into eggs, then coat on both sides with breadcrumb mixture.

Melt butter with oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet with pork to oven. Bake until pork chops are crisp on the outside and meat thermometer inserted into pork registers 150°F, about 20 minutes.

Transfer pork chops to plates. Garnish with lemon wedges and orange wedges, if desired, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Bon Appétit

February 2001

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Brown the chops & some onions, cover with chopped cabbage and just a little stock and bake? The meat ends up almost falling off the bones.

Its a rif on a recipe I have from TimeLife (provincial france), but the original uses heavy cream which makes it cardiac on a plate.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Brown the chops & some onions, cover with chopped cabbage and just a little stock and bake? The meat ends up almost falling off the bones.

Its a rif on a recipe I have from TimeLife (provincial france), but the original uses heavy cream which makes it cardiac on a plate.

That one sounds good. The one above is just a tad labor intensive.

I'm still waiting on the other grocery ads. They come out on Friday.

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Randi

you may be able to go with seasonings like Marigene's recipe but turn it inot more of a Shake n Bake kind of thing using toasted bread crumbs and rubbing all the coating ingrediants with some oil to make an oven fried coating

personally shake n bake is one of my dirty secrets

there is always BBQ sauce baked also

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.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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I don't have any suggestions. Just wanted you to know that I've been reading and enjoying this thread. I think you're doing a great job. That bean salad looked delicious. Reminded me of some of my favorite comfort foods such as: macaroni salad, potato salad, and of course, cole slaw. Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

Melissa

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Hey Randi!

sounds as though you are coming "into your own" with those old folks. LOL. Did you find out from the coordinator whether the food cost is averaged for the year, or month to month? It may turn out that in the summer local farmers, etc., will have good produce for you to keep your food cost down.

Guess what? I have a new job as the Community Meal Chef for a local church. Yup. Dinner for 100 weekly. What WAS I thinking? Thursday will be my 3rd time in the kitchen. First week I assisted the out-going chef. Last week I planned the menu and started everything, then left an hour before service to deal with a previously planned function. This week I am planning, shopping and prepping everything.

Volunteers come each week, to prep, serve and clean up, and I don't have to do any heavy lifting on the Day Of.

My budget is also $3 per person. We do really, really simple meals: Entree, vegetable, potatoes/rice, and dessert. There is always iced tea and coffee, but those don't come out of my budget.

Most recent menus:

Baked ham, scalloped potatoes, ratatouille, jello w/ fruit

Baked chicken w/ cacciatore sauce, steamed rice, green salad, bread pudding

Meatloaf, roast potatoes, broccoli, berry crumble (this week)

Scalloped potatoes were baked in the oven from raw, no cream sauce, just heavy cream. For the chicken, we baked off the chicken in trays, made the sauce separately, and then combined. I made 4 full inserts of bread pudding, and forgot to butter the pans. So sorry, cleanup volunteers! Berry crumble is going to be frozen mixed berries, tossed w/ sugar and cornstarch, sprinkled w/ granola and baked.

Someone else is using "my" kitchen until 1:30 on meal day (service is at 5:30), so this week's meal needs to be easy.

We have a "food rescue" service here in Vancouver, so it helps to keep my food cost down. Also, I'm all in favor of shopping at only a couple of places to keep the price of gas down.

You're doing a great job, Randi! Glad you had a chance to vacation somewhere warm this winter, you lucky girl.

Karen Dar Woon

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just found out that I will have 25 extra people on Thursday, with the following dietary "requests": wheat allergy; dairy intolerance; lacto-ovo vegetarian; vegetarian; no fish; no tomatoes.

So, am planning to add 8 servings of vegan veggie-loaf (brown rice, beans, lentils, mushrooms, tahihi) and to keep some fruit "separate" from the rest of the berry crumble.

Karen Dar Woon

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macaroni and cheese

meatloaf

shepard's pie

chicken pot pie

SOS (sausage beef gravy on biscuits)

chipped beef on toast

chicken and broccoli casserole

zucchini/summer squash

salad

broccoli

cobbler

pudding

bread pudding

chocolate cake

i used to work at a golf club that had a lot of older clientel (we used to call the dining room "god's waiting room"). we used to keep some specials "denture friendly" it was kind of pathetic, but that's what restaurant service is all about right? hope it all works out for you

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Hi All,

Sorry I've been MIA, I've been working a lot!!

KarenDW, I'd love to see some pics of your meals!! You're lucky. I have to provide juice and rolls along with everything else for the 3 bucks a person.

Yesterday's meal was way over budget. I think I spent around 180.00. I sure hope the budget is averaged over the year. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've went over budget though.

The menu

Red broccoli salad

pork chops w/ gravy

hash brown casserole

corn(frozen)

Oat and Honey granola pie( with ice cream)

I really had no choice this week as far as meat goes. The only thing on sale within my budget( and as you can see, I went over) was bone-in pork chops. I could have bought the sirloin end for 1.49lb, but I went with the center cuts for 2.49lb. Really, to stay within the budget, I should spend 1.99lb or less on the meat. The chops were big and beautiful. This package contained 10chops for 14.49.

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They shrunk a lot when they cooked. I browned them in a pan( which really I could have skipped because I didnt have the luxury of leaving them in the pan for as long as they needed).

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I used a 3lb bag of onions( which btw, have doubled in price). It used to cost 1.29, now it cost 2.49. I could have used 3 bags of onions, because they just seemed to get lost. I put the chops in a roasting pan and covered them with beef broth and some water. They were very tender by the time I took them out.

Grapes( .99lb) and celery( 99cents) were on sale this week. So I planned the salad around those. I found a red broccoli salad recipe at Allrecipes.com. The original recipe calls for 2lbs of bacon, but I used 2lbs of bacon for 6x the recipe. Really, when I'm coverting the recipe to serve 50ppl, I often will just use the recipe as a guideline and go from there. I only used 1 red onion when I could have used 2, I left out the green onion, I subbed sunflower seeds for the almonds( seeds were cheaper) and I reduced the sugar and increased the vinegar. I also used light mayo.

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Everyone loved this salad. In fact, I'd even bring it to a potluck.

The pototoes are your basic casserole potluck type of dish. Another recipe I took from All recipes.com. I think this is the hash browned casserole that is served at Cracker Barrel. Frozen hashbrowns, canned soup, sour cream, cheese, green onion. I left out all the butter in the recipe. The topping is crushed corn flakes. Very popular with the seniors. I had lots of requests for the recipe. Its funny, I'm almost embarrased to serve this though.

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I made the pies on Wednesday at my other job. Even though I have to drive to Grand Bend, its a lot easier to make them where I can bake all 8 of them at once. This recipe won the Pillsbury 1,000,000.00 bake-off in 2004. I actually have made it before( when it was annouced the winner) and its good. When I made it, I used a pate brise crust. This time, I used No Name all vegetable shortening crusts. They come Frozen, 2 in a box for 1.99. You can find the recipe for Oat and Honey Granola Pies here.

Btw, I chose this recipe because granola bars were on sale for 1.00 a box.

gallery_25969_665_417837.jpg

Just an intesting note. I bought 2 half gallons( 2L) of Bryers Vanilla ice cream. It was on sale for 3.99. The normal price is 8.49. Can you believe almost 9 bucks for a half gallon of ice cream? This ice cream is always on sale for between 2.50-3.00 in Michigan. Dairy products are really expensive in Ontario.

The next meal is May 10th. I'm going to serve something other than potatoes. I'm hoping boneless skineless chicken breasts will go on sale. I'd like to make chicken ala king and serve it with plain rice.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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I always avoid things like pork chops which are a one-per-person item, because I've also found that it drives the price waaaay up. I usually plan for at most 1/3 lb of meat per person, and it can be hard to find chops and the like that fit into that size range.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I don't know if this helps, but the No Frills flyer in central Ont. has chicken breasts at $1.97/lb; you would have to pull the skins off and cook on the bone, however.

Thanks, I saw that. My grocery store in town( Independendt part of Loblaws) has ground beef on for 1.79lb. I might do meat loaf and baked potatoes instead.

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Randi

Roasted potato wedges will end up costing alot less than baked...no butter or sour cream needed

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.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Randi

Roasted potato wedges will end up costing alot less than baked...no butter or sour cream needed

tracey

Yes, but then I actually have to cut up all the potatoes. I'm trying to make this meal easy on me. I usually have the day before the meal off, but I have to work the entire week getting ready for a Mother's Day brunch at my other job. I'm also filling in at another program on the Tuesday of that week. I dont think I'll go over budget this time. I'll only need about 20lbs of beef, and the potatoes cost 1.99 for 5lbs. I already bought 2lbs of butter yesterday( on sale for 2.88lb) and sour cream is around 1.49. I'll probably just do a big green salad and I bought a frozen green bean and carrot blend for 1.99( x 3 bags). I'll probably make a cake for dessert as well.

Wow, look at that. I just planned the entire next meal and its not until May 10th.

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That salad looks amazing. I just learned that raw broccoli and nightshade veggies reek futher havoc with thyroid issues so no more slaw for K8t. But thyroid-ites can still enjoy them cooked. But boy is that salad pretty!

Girl, don't be (almost) embarassed to serve them stuff they love. We call it ringing someone's bell (in a good way not the prize fight way) So hurray for ringing their bell!!! Your goal is to be a good cook to them not impress the far and wide fickle faceless masses. So you are a success at the art of cooking.

<highfive>

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm not sure about the nuts.  I'll have to check with the co-ordinator. 

Maybe use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to sub for nuts. If raw, shelled are on special anywhere, buy extra, and freeze them. They don't take much room; use plastic zip bags. You can roast/defrost them while preheating the oven for something else.

Karen Dar Woon

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, and it isn't related to costing, but just FYI - in aging the last taste sensation to go is *sweet*. For example, in hospitals if you're trying to get an older person or person with dementia to eat, often you will pour maple syrup over everything because the sweetness is the only thing they can actually taste - and how fun is eating something with no taste? So that may be something to keep in mind for menu-planning If it's too sweet for you it may be just right for them. (Of course, this may not be as feasible for the diabetic option!)

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Today's meal.

Mixed green salad w/ French dressing

Martha Stewarts Meatloaf 101

Baked spuds w/ sourcream and chives

frozen veg( green beans, wax beans, carrots( not shown)

Holy Cow Cake( choc. cake with choc. chips, caramel, creamcheese whipped topping, chopped up skor( heath) bars.)

For the salad I used romaine hearts( 3 in a package for 1.99 each). English cucumbers ( 3@ .79 each). 4 green peppers( 1.49lb), 1 bunch scallions( .50), 2 hot house tomatoes( 1.94)( I'll use more next time). 1 head of iceberg( .99) and 1 head of green leaf( .79). I use bottled dressing. I prefer to make my own, but I just didnt have the time. This is the first time I've used a bottled dressing. I bought 2 bags of ceasar croutons too.

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I made the meatloaf yesterday at my other job. I used the giant hobart to mix up the meat mixture. I left it in the walk-in overnight and baked it off today. Did I mention the church has no A/C? It was freaking hot in there!!

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Obviously, I missed the big chunk of carrot that the cuisinart didnt fully process. I yanked it out and threw it away.

gallery_25969_665_100332.jpg

I prefer Russet potatoes for baking, mashed and scalloped. I bought 2( 20lb) bags for 5.99 each. There was about half of one bag left over.

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I wont be cooking the next meal( May 24). I'm coming back from Florida the day before and I just don't have enough time to plan ahead.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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