I grew up in a nursing home! Well, back in the 50's nursing homes were more like boarding houses, with every level of care given. Turin only had about 98 people living there, but had a 3 room school that I attended until 6th grade. (For those who don't know... that means one teacher taught 3 grades and one row was a grade.) We got dial telephones in 1968! "Hello, Linda? Connect me to Nyda, please." It was the perfect place to grow up. I wasn't allowed to cook when I was younger. Until one day, when I was 18, the cook quit and Mom turned to me and said "get in there and cook dinner!" Talk about trial by fire! Thankfully our other cook taught me what to do. Its actually easier to cook for 40 people. The hardest part is timing everything to be ready at 11:30 for serving. (Thank you, Nyda Gleason!)
My favorite things to cook
Leftovers! My DH hated leftovers, so I had to start to get "creative". The only bad part is I usually can't replicate them. I learned from cooking in the nursing home that ANYTHING can be made into soup and/or salads. And I've put together some "interesting" things. Did you know 3 Bean Salad can go into your vegetable soup?
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family had a "floating" holiday house. Everyone would take turns hosting a holiday. Mom would let us kids have a cordial glass full of Mogan David wine every holiday. So THAT is my holiday "tradition". We always serve Mogan David on the holidays even now. Weird, huh? Want to know another great thing about growing up in a nursing home? The cookie jar is ALWAYS FULL!! So, I make sure mine is too for my darling grandson.
My cooking triumphs
For the last 7 yrs. we have hosted a New Years Day party for 20 or so friends. We eat, drink and play cards all day long. I usually fix a roaster full of George's maidrites and a kettle of some soup (usually my chili), snackies and a full bar. It's a great time. You're all invited!
My cooking tragedies
Early in my cooking "experience" I made chicken and noodles and added too much water. (Chicken stock?? What's that? LOL) After serving the residents I sat down for my meal.. and.. OMG! It tasted like the paste you eat in grade school!! I went to EVERY patient and apologized, then fixed every one of them bacon and eggs and toast. They thought it was pretty funny, but I was mortified. I've never made THAT mistake again. But, I've made plenty of others. Like the time I set the ELECTRIC oven on fire after setting it for self-clean. ahem...