More than a recipe: How a simple meal can make all the difference

Family recipes hold a special place in our hearts. They have the power to transport us back to those moments when we sat around a full table, our loved ones around us, enjoying both the delicious food and our precious moments together. Recently, The Shores Retirement Residence in Kamloops, BC, discovered a way to reawaken the magic of those recipes.

photo of executive chef, Carolyn Ellis and the residents who participatedEach month, residents are invited to share their family recipes, which are then prepared for everyone to enjoy. The recipes are given out on menu sheets, displayed on TV monitors, and featured in the monthly newsletter with a photo of the resident.

The initiative is proving to be a real conversation starter in the dining room and is bringing residents together. It is also helping to connect a resident’s past with their present—an idea that inspired the project.

“One of our residents, Audrey… mentioned that she missed cooking and eating her own home-cooked meals,” said Delena Smith, lifestyle consultant at The Shores.  The general manager, Sharen Marteny, and executive chef, Carolyn Ellis, then talked to Audrey to see how they could help.

“Sharen asked what her favourite dishes were and if she would like to share her recipes,” said Delena. “We then talked to more new residents and realized that this was a common theme. So we decided to showcase one or two residents a month and their favourite recipes.”

“The feedback has been positive and opens up conversations at the tables. We overhear residents sharing stories and memories of when they cooked this meal and why it is their family favourite,” Delena said. “We really want the residents to feel at home, and this is just a small way we can accomplish this that makes a big difference.”


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