I’ve got a pot on the boil again, literally. I wrote a few days ago about making soup for my grandma. Let me explain how that works for you, because it’s something that’s become tradition over the last few years.
Four Christmases ago, I was at a total loss for gifts for my grandparents. They truly had everything they wanted, and they tended to go out and buy anything they needed as things came up. One area I thought they could use a little backup was with their meals, since my grandma has shaky hands that can make chopping and slicing challenging, and my grandpa had many dietary restrictions that meant pre-prepared foods, like canned soups, were often off the list of possibilities.
I decided to stock my grandparents’ freezer with homemade things they could eat and would enjoy. To make it feel more like a gift and less like a food service that drops off whatever cheap meal is being made on a particular day for old folks, I created a cafe style menu, printed in colour, with a list of the available selections.
Each month since then, I’ve made two different types of soup or stew, and two different desserts for my grandparents. Grandpa passed away last February, and I still make the same quantity of food, but package it in smaller containers. It’s reassuring to know that it lasts my grandma a long time, and also that I pack the things I make for her with protein and fresh veggies, so I know she’s getting quality meals. Grandma likes healthy food and eats lots of fruit and other fresh stuff, so I’m not worried about her eating produce as much as I am about her getting enough protein. I want her around for as long as possible, and cooking delicious and nutritious food for her is my way of supporting her longevity.
Over my October break this year, I decided to make Grandma’s October and November stuff all at once. I know things are going to be extra hectic in my life from now until Christmas, so I wanted to ensure all the cooking and baking is finished and in Grandma’s deep freezer before I go back to work next week. Here’s what’s on the go for October and November:
The Soups: split pea (from Friday’s ham bone); tomato veggie with barley, roasted acorn squash, potato bacon leek
The Sweets: apple cranberry crisp, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip banana muffins, peanut butter cookies
Before you send me emails about the fact that I’m making cookies for my grandma after stressing the “good stuff” I put into her soups, let’s keep in mind that she’s eighty-two years old, and if she wants a treat, she should darn well have a treat. She favours chocolate about all. She’s also well under ninety pounds with her shoes and coat on, so I’m not providing sweets to an elderly lady with an obesity problem.
I cook for my grandma every month like clockwork. She loves being able to look in her freezer for a quick and healthy meal, and I enjoy cooking knowing that I’m doing something she’s going to enjoy. If there’s an elderly person in your life who would benefit from being provided meals, or if you know a person who is disabled and unable to cook, please think about creating some dishes that can be frozen and reheated for that individual. A few hours of your time could make an immense difference for another person, and that’s an investment that will pay you back in warm fuzzies many times over.
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