Guess what grandma wants most of all for dinner? New research into the eating habits of older adults has discovered answers that might surprise many of us.
“Seventy-eight percent of seniors surveyed wished their families shared more meals together,” according to a report by Home Instead Senior Care. “Two of five seniors who live alone have at least four warning signs of poor nutritional health and one in five seniors say he or she sometimes or most of the time feels lonely when eating alone.”
It’s for this reason Home Instead Health Care has launched “Craving Companionship,” a new program encouraging families to dig into their recipe box, find a favorite dish and share it with their senior loved ones.
“Many seniors need help planning and preparing nutritious meals,” said Kerry Gatti, owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Shelby Township. “But that’s only part of the story. Research reveals that seniors who live alone want good-tasting, nutritious food and stimulating conversation when they share home-cooked meals with family and friends.”
Got a great recipe?
How about a great story on what makes it special? Is it a family dish that has been handed down from generation to generation? Perhaps you can recall times as a child when elders in the family would gather to make the recipe. Whatever the case may be, as part of the new program, families are being invited to enter their recipe and story in the “Craving Companionship Recipe Contest” through Sept. 15.
Selected recipes and stories will be posted online and featured in the “Homemade Memories Cookbook” to be sold during the 2011 holiday season. Proceeds from the cookbook will go to the nonprofit Home Instead Senior Care Foundation to benefit North American seniors.
“The dinner my son hates but always asks for” is the recipe Angela Munoz entered into the contest.
“My mother used to make Swiss steak for our family and it was a favorite of mine, so I continued to prepare this dish for my family. Every time I would make this dish, my son would ask, ‘What’s for dinner?’ I would tell him ‘Swiss Steak’ and his reply would always be ‘Yuck, I hate that.’ But he would eat two or three helpings.”
Munoz said her son, now married, called to ask about the recipe for the “stuff he hates.”
The Munoz family recipe for Swiss Steak aka “yuck:”
3 to 5 pounds round steak
1 white onion
2 12-ounce cans cream mushroom soup
2 ounces cooking oil
garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
3 cups water
Cut onion into 1/4-inch slices. Cut steak into individual serving pieces and season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat oil in a skillet and brown the meat on both sides. Then pour water over the steak, place onion slices on top, cover and reduce the heat to med-low. Cook until meat becomes tender. Add mushroom soup and cover again for about 10 to 15 minutes or until soup is hot. Serve with mashed potatoes and “yucky” green vegetables.
Send your comments or home and garden tips to Gina Joseph, The Macomb Daily, 100 Macomb Daily Drive, Mount Clemens, MI 48043, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.