Not many new things in my kitchen this month but look at these faces I entertained in my kitchen! John’s sister was due to come to visit last weekend and there was an illness and she couldn’t come and her daughter and grandson didn’t come either.
John’s family has always been so kind to me that I love spending time when they come up to visit the olds. There was a big boneless ham to have in the refrigerator in case anyone got hungry. It’s easy to say you want a sandwich when you know there’s a thumping big ham sitting in there.
I visited John’s dad, Rob, in the nursing home the other day at dinner time and I blurted out, “There’s a big ham, would you like to come for lunch on Tuesday?” We had such a good time when they all came for a before Christmas lunch. This time we had someone new at the table. Meet Elsie, who’s just moved in to Arcare, plus Maureen, Phil, Ruth and Rob who were here for Christmas lunch.
John bought and peeled some prawns and they enjoyed those while I finished up the lunch. They love prawns – another thing they don’t get at the nursing home.
They are the most wonderful human beings, funny, clever and quick witted. Charlie drove them all nuts but the food made up for the irritation. I thought about what food you might miss when you have institutional food.
The food there is good but they cater for quite old people so the food isn’t highly seasoned and they tell me that every other day it’s quiche of some sort and it’s boring. The vegetables are all (over)cooked from frozen so I went with a big platter of roasted vegetables.
I roasted the butternut pumpkin and then just before it was done, I drizzled it with maple syrup. I roasted the parsnips with a bit of cumin, fenugreek and nigella seeds and then the sweet potato, purple sweet potato, white potato, garlic cloves and red onion quarters were simply roasted in olive oil and kosher salt. I roasted whole baby carrots and drizzled them with a tiny amount of balsamic vinegar when they came out of the oven and then at the last minute I tossed in asparagus and roasted it at 220C/425F for only 10 minutes and then tossed all the veggies together and piled them on a big platter.
There were big smiles and comments of, “Parsnips? I haven’t had parsnips for ages! Sweet potatoes? Oh how I love sweet potatoes and we never get them.” Win!
I saw a recipe on Pinterest for a ham glaze of orange marmalade, pineapple juice and brown sugar and I loved it. I will do that again. We also had grilled pineapple.
For dessert I made a double layer pavlova and filled it with chocolate whipped cream and more cream on the top and sprinkled with chopped roasted hazelnuts and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Even Phil who’s trying to stay perfectly trim had dessert.
For me, having these wonderful people at my table (or in my kitchen) was way more fun than having things I could photograph. (Although, having things to photograph would be good too!)
- 1 to 1½ cups pineapple juice (I drain the juice from sliced pineapple in syrup that I grill to go with the ham)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- Combine everything together in a saucepan (make it big enough for the sauce to boil and bubble in)
- Stir occasionally and cook on medium for about 15 minutes and the sauce will reduce to the consistency of syrup.
- (When cool, baste the ham, cover with foil and bake. Baste several times during cooking)
This is part of the In My Kitchen group where many food bloggers show what’s going on in their kitchens. If you want to see all the other In My Kitchen posts, head over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and see the list on the side of her blog.
I have canned pineapple juice. And I am so going to try this. Such a refreshing in my kitchen post Maureen, I love everything.
Lily Lau says
Looks awesome, and I’m superhungry right now! Shouldn’t have seen this at this time of the day, haha!
Your ham looks amazing, I love the plats “sucré_salé” I can imagine that your ham was a little bit sucré with the pineapple’s ! Also I like your pavlova, it’s a dessert I dream to make but it is scared me !
Your friends must be very happy with this meal !
What a fun little gathering! I bet you and John made their day with fresh veggies and all those prawns.
The Squishy Monster says
I would swoon at such a supper. What a beautiful ham and I hope you saved me some pavlova!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Maureen – this is my favorite “In My Kitchen” post of your’s to date! having these wonderful people in my kitchen was way more fun than having things I could photograph. Reading about you having those wonderful people in your kitchen was way more fun for me!
GiGi Eats says
Roasted vegetables are hands down my favorite!!!!!!! Roasting brings out the most delicious sweetness that makes my mouth WATER 🙂 And then… I overeat – LOL
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Such nice people in your kitchen this month! And I know they appreciated your meal — always a treat to get something different. And properly seasoned. 😉
Look at those faces, they look so adorable and they look like they were having a great time! That ham, now I’m craving some ham, it looks wonderful!
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Oh, I bet they are dream of the next meal invitation! What a fabulous meal – Maureen – no wonder they are looking so happy:)
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
What a fun gathering Maureen! And that dinner!!!
What a feast! And Charlie driving them nuts? Not possible. That sweet gorgeous would never be a bother to anyone! 🙂
He has this little red toy with feet called a Bad Cuz. He went to everyone and put ‘baby’ (it has feet!) in their lap hoping they’d toss it. Nobody wanted to play slobberball with him. Go figure. That didn’t stop him from trying. over and over. 🙂 That’s the price for dining here.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Such a beautiful gathering in your kitchen, Maureen. I love having visitors xo
Veronica (Roni) says
What a gorgeous girl you are Maureen!
Reminds me of what the kitchens in Orvieto will be like for us….so excited!
Well done you!!! xx
Isn’t it great having an appreciate group sitting at your dinner table? And you did a lovely thing as well getting them out of the nursing home for a change of pace. That double pavlova looked decadent … I just had to click the link. 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
Someone is very good at carving ham – those slices are perfect. I love the look of your platter of roasted vegetables and such great variety! How lovely of you to take these people into your home and spoil them in the way that you do. I know they would be totally thrilled. I bet they’re still talking about it. And I bet they love Charlie and his antics as well xx
What a good, kind-hearted lady, you are Maureen…:) I just know that they throughly enjoyed that day. Those veggies look delicious but I want to see that dessert! 🙂
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
Just look at those sweet faces and you made them quite a feast!! That pile of roasted veggies is mouthwatering!!
Ciao Florentina says
What a lovely family story, tickles my heart every time I see families around the dinner table, best sight on earth. And those roasted veggies look divine !
Good food + Good folk = The Good Life3. 🙂
sherry from sherrys pickings says
oh how wonderful to give these friends a treat. i often wonder as we visit my MIL in the home and nearly gag on the awful smells of roasted meat or whatever it may be, how bloody terrible it must be if you can’t have a bit of whiskey in the evenings or indulge in spices and garlic etc. good on you!! great post…
I am one of thoes lucky people at Maureen and Johns lunch table on Tuesday 31 March. What a time we had , not only beautiful lunch but oh so beautiful people –
Thank you once again .
OMG Maureen! You technologically clever woman, you! I’m so glad we have the same name. 🙂
Maureen your ham look awesome!! and love the pictures!!
The roasted root vegetables look amazing and aren’t we lucky the season for hearty roasts have just started!!
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
You totally made their day/week you know that don’t you. Part of me felt a little sad reading through this especially the part about them missing out on parsnips & sweet potatoes. I bet they all adore you – and your food. And probably Charlie too!
Marilyn Lesniak says
What a great time you had! The lunch sounds wonderful. I m glad you had someone to help you eat it all up!
Joanne T Ferguson says
What a thought, gorgeous, caring post and totally agree Maureen…”having these wonderful people in my kitchen was way more fun than having things I could photograph”…people and friendships are priceless to me and thanks for this month’s IMK view! Great ham and wish I was there to try it too! 🙂
As is rather obvious your guests are hardly ‘nursing home’ patients: incorrect nomenclature!! Wonderful they had a civilized and beautifully served meal . . . enjoyed each other’s time and were certainly grateful for you for arranging such! We do have a named older seniors’ home at the gate to or gated village: I can assure you that neither food nor ambience reach anywhere your standards 🙂 !
They all look really good Eha but they each have issues that require nursing every day. It’s a shame that our bodies poop out before our brains. We should fall apart all at the same time. They loved getting out and feeling like independent, regular people for a few hours.
Carol Preibis says
Hello Maureen, What a wonderful idea! Don’t you just love making people happy with food!
I’m glad you all had such an enjoyable time,
Wishing you well,
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
How absolutely gorgeous of you Maureen! I bet it really put a smile on their faces 😀 Happy Easter to you the whole crowd!
Thanks, Lorraine, have a wonderful holiday weekend!
You’re a gorgeous woman – look how happy you made them all! Roasted veg and baked ham and so many smiles! Next time you make the offer, the entire nursing home will show up! 🙂
LOL I’ll need more chairs!!
Sugar et al. says
The happy faces are proof of your delicious cooking and generous gesture. What a fabulous feast!
The Ninja Baker says
Think you just got angel wings, Maureen. No matter how nice assisted living units are, nothing compares to all the love poured into a homemade meal…And, yes, that ham looks like it will slice perfectly into several sandwiches =) P.s. Your dessert looks and sounds divine, too….Thank you for the recipe!
Chris Scheuer says
I’m old. Can I come to your house for lunch? Everything looks wonderful!
Fiona @TIFFIN bite sized food adventures says
Maureen, you are such a wonderful soul. Here you are hosting hoards of people who need a little love and care when things have been very tricky for you of late. I can’t even bear to think about what I may have to give up if I moved into care. Surely (surely?) by the time I get there they’ll be doing pan-Asian and South American as a matter of course. I hope so! A truly delicious tour.
Eva Taylor says
What a lovely treat to have John’s family plus one for lunch; we’ve switched our celebration meals to lunch these days so that JTs elderly dad could join us. This Easter we have 9 I total! We too are serving a glazed ham and until now I hadn’t a clue with what to glaze it! Plus I love marmelade. I’m doing rösti potatoes and an asparagus salad dressed with blood oranges so the marmelade glaze would fit perfectly with the theme. And an apple tart tatin.
It was only John’s dad for family. Phil, Ruth, Maureen and Elsie are Rob’s dining companions at the nursing home. 🙂 Your Easter dinner sounds amazing!!
My Kitchen Stories says
Lovely Maureen. They must feel very privileged to be invited to your house. I love glazed ham, it’s a winner
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Maureen, I love how you thought to give them foods they would never get in an institutional setting. What a treat! As good as the ham looks, I’d dive into those roasted vegetables first!
Kathleen | HapaNom says
What a great get-together! And what a fabulous ham – my mouth is watering!
Mary Frances says
Maureen, what a delicious looking, mouthwatering ham! I’m so glad you were able it to share with great company. This weekend, I’m planning on cooking a ham for friends and family as well! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!
I’m sure they gad a great time! Love the ham, so delicious ! And the roasted veggies look awesome!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I think I could eat that entire platter of roasted vegetables, love the maple syrup drizzle!
Carol at Wild Goose Mama says
Wonderful post because it shows how food threads thru out life—how important the people are—how wonderful to
share a meal with them. Plus the Ham was FAB.
Oh so adorable. I would love a supper like that. Great company and great food.
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
This ham looks divine and glazed to perfection Maureen – and the roasted veggie side salad is the perfect accompaniment!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
How lovely Maureen – the whole menu sounds and looks wonderful. The roasted vegetables are my favorite I must admit – but I would have enjoyed the dessert too – you are a wonderful hostess! Have a great Easter holiday!
Jennifer from Milk and Honey says
Now that’s what I call a feast. YUM!
Dedy@Dentist Chef says
Damn , ypu made me craving some ham now….
Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers says
Nothing beats a good ham and yours looks delicious. What a lovely gathering you all had. happy Easter
Sally - My custard pie says
Beautiful faces and food in your kitchen. Loved this post.
Anna @ shenANNAgans.com says
It’s like Christmas in your kitchen this month with that gorgeous ham.
Loved that you all had a delicious meal together, family, friends & food…. The best ingredients to a wicked good day. 🙂
Mrs Mulberry says
You are an angel Maureen, what a wonderful, kind and generous thing to do. It certainly looks like you had a wonderful celebration with absolutely stunning food – and it looks like you made some very special people, very happy xxx
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
You, my friend, are a saint. I worked in nursing homes when I was a much younger nurse and know what kind of food they get. What you are doing for these people is priceless & I’m sure they love you for it.
Jan (A gluttonous wife) says
What a wonderful thoughtful thing to do for them – I bet they just loved you for it 🙂 Jan x
What a wonderful lunch! It’s so lovely that you put so much thought into creating a lunch that your guests would appreciate! 🙂
Napoli Restaurant Alert says
What a warm and welcoming home.
What a wonderful meal to share…. your act of kindness was very sweet. I know those happy smiles at your table were there because of not only the food, but spending time with you.
Vanny @Nessy Eater says
HAM + SUGAR+ PINEAPPLE?? My three favourite things in this world 😀
I love ham definitely with some edam cheese and some wine.
That big pile of roast veggies had me drooling – and now, that .is exactly what I need to make for dinner.
Once again, another enjoyable post from you Maureen. What a wonderful meal you presented to your guests. It certainly will be a memorable one for them. It is so sad that nursing homes don’t put the same amount of care into their meals.
What a kind person you are Maureen, but we all have known that for a very long time. I’m sure Rob and his fellow residents will be remember this wonderful meal for a very long time. You are so right about the food in nursing homes and even assisted living places. We just go back from visiting my mom and while we were there we went out and bought her some fried oysters one night and Chinese food the next night. She was in heaven. 🙂
You hit the nail on the head. They get school food and what they crave is people food – things they they love. It’s a bit of work but the smiles on their faces mean the world to me.
Mary Frances says
Maureen, the ham looks incredible!! Glad you hear you got to share it with such special people. I cooked a ham as well this past holiday weekend!
Looks like every one had a wonderful time and I am sure home cooked food and lovely company was so appreciated. The ham looks delicious. 🙂
Wonderful gathering! and everything looks yummy!
Thanks for sharing!
Selma | Selma's Table says
Maureen, that was an absolutely wonderful thing to do – how lovely to have such an interesting bunch of people around your table who are also appreciative of the food. So nice to see such happy faces and glad to hear that your father in law is doing well.
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Maureen, it’s kind of you to say the institutional food “isn’t highly seasoned,” but that isn’t the only problem. My aunt lived in a lovely and expensive retirement apartment where she signed up for daily lunch, and it was a sad lunch indeed. The cheapest white bread, canned vegetables, the most basic “nothing” salads, etc. There really is no excuse for that. So glad your family “olds” and their friends can enjoy some of your wonderful meals!
Beck @ Goldenpudding says
What a wonderful celebration Maureen, and those veg look absolutely fabulous!
What a lovely dining room you have, and lovely smiling faces of your guests. Who wouldn’t with such a wonderful (and considerate) spread.! It is sad that the institutional food in those places is so boring, my mother said the same thing. It’s especially difficult for folks who have been used to good and delicious food all their lives. She always loved it when she came to visit and we would cook together.
I do understand. What these lovely people say is that they have to eat like children. They’re given what they’re ‘supposed’ to eat rather than given more of the things they love. Lovely to see you, Liz!