A Nursing Home Alternative Where Elders Cook

Published On: January 28th, 2011By Categories: Blog

elders cooking
Food is pleasure. Preparing it, smelling it and eating it, regardless of our dining rituals, food brings meaning to our lives and defines a part of our individuality. The Green House Model protects this philosophy through teaching the importance of simple pleasures and knowing relationships for creating meaning and value for elders. Pam Dixon, Director of Food Services at Ave Maria Home in Bartlett, TN shares with us an inspiring ritual they’ve created in their legacy home. A ritual they are ecstatic to bring to their new Green House homes! Elders suggest recipes they used to cook themselves and those recipes are prepared for the elders in the legacy homes. Now, in their Green House homes, elders will also be involved in conducting and preparing the meals! Pam tells us, “It is so wonderful to watch the excitement of our elders as they share their memories with each other.” We all have diverse backgrounds and rich memories that are shared through our food. What better way to relish those memories than stimulating our strongest senses, smell and taste? Tell us: what food and/or recipe will always be a part of your life?

Here is the latest favorite recipe shared by an elder:
Chicken and Yellow Rice Casserole

1 fryer cut-up (can use just thighs & breasts)
1-2 onions chopped
1 envelope Vigo flavoring
1 qt. Water
1 T salt
½- 1 green pepper chopped
1 bay leaf
2-3 garlic cloves
1 4 oz. can pimentos
1 small can English Peas
1 or 2 tomatoes chopped
1 10 oz. pkg Vigo yellow rice
In frying pan, fry chicken till well browned. In large saucepan, sauté garlic onion and green pepper. Add tomatoes and simmer till soft. Add water, Vigo flavoring, bay leaf and salt. Stir well. Add chicken and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and with lid on, simmer 10 minutes. Bring to boil again, add rice and let return to boil. Stir once and cover tightly. Lower heat to simmer and let cook without lifting lid for 23-30 minutes. When done add peas and pimentos.