My name is Edward Smith and I’m the Culinary Director at Lyndale Abilene Memory Care, a community owned and operated by Sagora Senior Living. My job is to create nutritious meals for our residents that focus on flavor, quality and presentation.
I’m extremely passionate about what I do. Every day is a new opportunity to be better than the day before. My desire is to give people an opportunity to have great food, no matter their stage in life. All too often in senior living, you see meals that are bland, severely lacking in nutrition, and are placed in front of a resident and left.
That simply won’t do at our community. Our standard is high, and our residents are our family. We understand that our Memory Care residents have specialized needs. It’s important to meet them where they’re at and tailor the experience to best fit their needs. Memory Care residents do best when they are not overwhelmed with food options – especially on a long menu list. At our community, we offer a visual menu and say, “would you like this or this?” We’ve found that our residents are much more receptive to this and they’re even more open to trying things that they wouldn’t normally order from a print menu.
Our reason for having a heavy focus on plating and presentation doesn’t end there. If I’m able to go to a sophisticated restaurant and have an exceptional dining experience, why shouldn’t our residents have that same opportunity? We can bring that level of care directly to them in a way that is safe, nutritious and far from mundane. Our goal is to bring the entertainment and joy of dining back into their lives. Lyndale Abilene is their home and meals shouldn’t just be part of their basic needs – they should be something that our residents look forward to.
If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, I recommend cooking with fresh ingredients and implementing protein, vegetables and berries into their diet. Blueberries have tons of antioxidants that aid in recollection.
Additionally, I encourage you to learn more about the Memory Care communities that Sagora Senior Living has to offer. We abide by a Resident First philosophy and provide chef-prepared meals and vibrant programming for our residents in a home-like atmosphere. You can learn more about our communities here.
For a taste of what our residents enjoy each day, I’ve provided one of our community favorite recipes below. Bon appetit!
- 4 regular croissants (6oz)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cut croissants into one-inch squares and toast them lightly in oven till brown. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, half and half, vanilla and salt. Heat until the surface begins to simmer. In a large heatproof bowl, blend egg yolks, whole egg and granulated sugar with a whisk.
- Slowly add the hot cream mixture, stirring gently.
- Strain the custard into a large measuring cup.
- Line up the croissants in a pan, add chocolate chips and pour the cream mixture slowly over top. Bake until firm.
- Drizzle with caramel sauce and enjoy!