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Monday, September 3, 2007

Seniors Enjoy Cooking Vintage Recipes

Some of the seniors whom I have assisted have taught me how to cook recipes they've used since the 1920's. Home style cooking without using measuring spoons or written directions, but relying on experience, involves being creative in the kitchen. Once a 97 year old and I prepared Thanksgiving dinner for 25 people this way, including everything from sweet potatoe pie to cornbread stuffing.

We started preparations a week ahead of time. Several trips to the grocery store and a trunk and backseat full of ingredients got us started. Her relatives were coming from all over to meet at a granddaughter's, and my elderly friend had a cooking background that was a local legend.

Several refrigerators and freezers held the finished foods while we spent each day on several more dishes. It was some of the most fun I've ever had at Thanksgiving.

Many ingredients were measured by eye and nothing was made from mixes. For the stuffing we cooked cornbread from cornmeal, and for the apple pies we cut up our own tart apples. The kitchen looked like an old time photograph at harvest time.

Adding a little of this and that my 97 year old friend made each dish creative and unique. She taught me all the little tricks of properly using the kitchen utensils, adding unexpected spices or combinations, and putting it all together to look artistic.

The vintage recipes that many seniors remember from youthful days are a chance for caregivers and families to share a good time in the kitchen and some of the most delicious meals anywhere.

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