Across the state at our communities we are making time for tea to celebrate! We are planning these tea parties to toast our excellent communities and the residents, staff and families that make them so special. In honor of this Tea Time, this week the blog will feature a recipe that is a must for your party menu. Many thanks to Donna Burch the daughter of our resident Opal Newsome for sharing this delicious recipe with us.
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
2 C. pretzels, coarsely crushed ¾ c. melted butter or margarine
3 T. sugar (for crust) 1 (6-oz.) pkg. strawberry Jello
1 c. sugar 2 (10-oz.) pkgs. Frozen strawberries
1 c. boiling water
1 (8-oz.) ctn. Cool Whip
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
Mix crushed pretzels, butter and sugar; press into bottom of a 9X13-inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool completely. In another bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Stir in carton of Cool Whip. Then spread onto cooled crust. Dissolve Jello in 1 cup of bowling water. Then stir in strawberries and let stand 10 minutes. Pour this mixture on top of cream cheese mixture in pan. Chill in refrigerator. Makes about 12 servings.
Pictured are Mr. Charles Burch, our resident, Mrs. Opal Newsome and her daughter Mrs. Donna Burch
As we prepare to give thanks and gather around the table…I remember. I remember that it was just last Thanksgiving that we experienced a “first” in our community. It was the first time that all 16 of our residents were out with family at the EXACT same time. It was a strange feeling for the folks that were working that day. I remember them calling to tell me about it. Oh, there is always plenty to be done and the staff was happy for the residents to be spending quality time with family and loved ones. It was just a new first for our community. What about you? Is this the first year that you will be planning Thanksgiving after having moved a loved one into an assisted living? Are you concerned with all the preparation and worried about the visit? Here are a few tips to help you stress less and enjoy Thanksgiving with your elderly loved ones.
Schedules and Timing
As much as you don’t want to plan out every little detail, you do want to give it some thought. Remember that if they are residing in an assisted living they may now be accustomed to a more structured routine. You will want to check with the staff regarding medications and proper protocol. You want to be sure to keep everything on track.
Food and Options
Our residents live very active and independent lifestyles. They enjoy making their own choices and directing their care. But it is important to consider their dietary needs. Be mindful of food options. Remember if Mom doesn’t need the extra salt or Dad needs alternative dessert options.
One of the most common comments I hear from families is that they are shocked when not long after eating ….the elderly loved one is ready to go back to their community (new home). Now naturally this makes an administrator very happy that a resident has come to feel comfortable in their community. But don’t let it make you feel down. Remember they have gotten on their own time schedule. They are enjoying your company, but like many people after a gathering may need some rest.
As with all time together…just enjoy. Make it special but don’t put too much pressure on your family member or yourself (for that matter) to meet unrealistic expectations. Incorporate them into the conversation. Maybe call ahead of time and get their special recipe for a favorite dish. Spend time talking, relating and making treasured memories. Savor these moments together and you ALL will come away from the gathering feeling grateful.
Autumn is my favorite season of the year. The trees show off their brightest and boldest colors as the leaves start to change. We break out the fall clothing (well, perhaps on some days…let’s be honest I live in the South). My favorite sport of college football is in full swing and I love the local Friday Night Lights as well. So, in honor of this beloved season, I wanted to share a delicious recipe to get you in the mood for fall food. And when we think of FALL, many of us think of pumpkin spice everything! Pure pumpkin is considered a SUPER FOOD as it is low in calories and fat and is a naturally rich source of fiber and Vitamin A (AN ANTIOXIDANT). So here is a delicious and easy recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins that is sure to be a crowd pleaser and bring in the wonderful taste and fragrance of FALL!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 can (15 ounces) 100% Pure Pumpkin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water or orange juice
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 30 muffin cups.
COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.
BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in a covered container or re-sealable plastic bags.
FOR 72 MINI MUFFINS:
PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
FOR 12 JUMBO MUFFINS:
PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 33 to 36 minutes.
Today we are honoring Gardens of Clanton resident Lucille Mims. Mrs. Lucille is 94 years old and thoroughly enjoys being a resident at our Clanton community. Most folks when they think of Clanton, immediately think of peaches. Clanton is famous for their delicious peaches and their water tower in the shape of a peach. August is National Peach Month and in honor of Mrs. Lucille Mims, the Gardens of Clanton and the delicious fruit…we are sharing a delicious recipe for Peach Cobbler. We hope you all enjoy this delicious taste of summer!
Peach Cobbler Recipe
- 8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- MIX TOGETHER:
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch.
- Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
- Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
Pictured is Mrs. Mims and her loving granddaughter
Nothing says summer like a big bowl of homemade ice cream. In the days before electric ice cream freezers, how many of us remember sitting under a shade tree on a hot summer day and taking out turn cranking the handle on a freezer of homemade ice cream? It always seemed to take forever for the ice cream to be ready to eat.
What was your favorite homemade ice cream as a child? Good old vanilla, fresh peach ice cream, sweet strawberry, or rich chocolate? Did you enjoy your ice cream in a big bowl or in a crisp cone?
Get out those cookbooks and recipes for some homemade ice cream. Remember to pick up the chocolate or caramel sauce. Don’t forget the sprinkles and toppings. Spend some time this July cooling off with some refreshing ice cream.
Don’t you just love the smell of Barbecue cooking on the grill? Nothing says the start of summer like a backyard barbecue with friends and family. May is National Barbecue Month and it’s time to fire up those grills and start your summer.
This year, why not try a few new twists on your regular barbecue. Here are 5 tips to make this summer special:
- Choose some different meats to grill. We all love hamburgers, chicken and steak. How about some Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Jalapeno burgers, or Cajun Pork Chops? Look for some variety to your usual grilled meat choices.
- Choose colorful veggies to jazz things up. Colorful skewers of red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and onion are fun and healthy. Corn and potatoes are great but take a look at the farmers market or your garden for something you haven’t grilled before and give it a try.
- Choose some fruit to grill. Peaches, pears, pineapple, bananas, even strawberries are fun on the grill. The heat of the grill brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit and makes it a real treat.
- Try steaming side dishes on the grill. The smoke of the fire will add a new depth of flavor to traditional side dishes.
- How about some pizza on the grill? Break out your favorite pizza toppings and put that pizza on the grill. The smoke of grilling will add a new twist to pizza.
So get those grills fired up, put your thinking cap on and brainstorm some new ideas to kick off your summer with the grill.
How many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches did you eat as a kid? How often did you come home from school and find peanut butter and crackers with a glass of cold milk as your after school snack? How many RC Colas have you drank topped off with a layer of salty peanuts?
Many of us associate peanuts and peanut butter with our childhood memories. As we become adults, sometimes we shy away from foods from our childhood. March is National Peanut Month so let’s take another look at this healthy nut.
Peanuts have more protein than any other nut. Protein can help keep our muscles and bones strong. Protein helps us “feel full” and can knock out that between meals hunger pains. Also, peanuts contain “good fats” so while they taste great, they are healthy.
So, in honor of National Peanut Month, take a hint from your childhood and jazz it up. How about a peanut pie? Have you tried a peanut butter smoothie? How about spicy peanuts as an afternoon snack? Go ahead and have some fun with this healthy nut.
For more helpful information, from nutrition and health topics to assisted living advice, visit us at GreatOaksManagement.com
Many of us have fond memories of visiting our grandmother’s house and of the delicious smells that greeted us when we entered the kitchen. Pies of apple, pecan, chess, sweet potato and oh, let’s not forget chocolate! Our grandmother’s almost always had our favorite desserts when we visited.
As adults those memories of our childhood visits to our grandparents are special. Not only were we surrounded by love and care, we often had wonderful meals too. As adults ourselves, we understand the love a grandparent has for their grandchildren.
As we celebrate Great American Pie month in February, it’s a great time to locate those treasured recipes and recreate our grandmother’s special desserts. Don’t have the recipe to your favorite foods from your grandmother? Now is the time to visit or give her a call and get the recipe. Best of all would be to go visit and make the special recipe with your grandmother. The memories you make will be priceless.
The holidays are over, it’s cold outside, and so it’s time for soup. Nothing warms a body up like a hot bowl of homemade soup. January is National Soup Month and it couldn’t come at a better time.
Do you have fond memories of a favorite soup, simmering on the stove with the smell welcoming you into the house like a big hug? Is it vegetable, chicken, or maybe chili? Are there special events you have celebrated with soup?
The origins of soup are as old as mankind, probably dating back to the Neolithic Age. Early man used soup to stretch his food supply and to help survive harsh winters when fresh food was not available. Historically, soup has been used to strengthen people who were ill and to help families stretch their food budgets.
So get out those cookbooks. Whip up a big pot of your favorite soup to chase away the cold weather. Go ahead and look for something new, something you haven’t tried before and see if you can find a new favorite soup.
What could be more fun than Pizza Week? January 17th-23rd is National Pizza Week and it’s time to take stock of all the things we love about Pizza. What is it about Pizza that makes us all want to act like a kid?
Are you a thin crust person or do you go for deep dish? Are you veggies only or meat lover? Do you make your own at home or do you have your favorite neighborhood restaurant? What about dessert Pizza? Have you ever had breakfast Pizza?
Pizza has evolved over the past 25 years from a primarily main meal dish to include lots of options. For some of us as kids, you either went out for Pizza to your favorite place or called for delivery. What is your favorite kind of Pizza? Take time this week to indulge in some fun. Order in or head out the door but make time to celebrate Pizza this week.