Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I’m a Cookin’ Fool

Or some such. And perfectly contented at it. Natch.

Livey delivers Meals on Wheels to a few local residents every Monday. On Wednesdays, another woman does it. In this small town setting, there are only three recipients, or two when the Bat Lady’s in the hospital.

Others, the more ambulatory seniors, come to the Community Center to get lunch. If I’m too late to meet whoever’s making the deliveries to the homebound folks, the Community Center will feed my stuff to the other folks who go there in person. It’s all good.

The Community Center is staffed by several senior ladies, most of whom have the same name as my mother. And, like a lot of older folks, they like the taste of good old-fashioned home baked bread. And cinnamon rolls and cookies, all that.

I like this.

And I like to go with Livey on the delivery runs. I love to drive, and she doesn’t, so it’s a great fit. Seeing as how she gets all of $5 or so per delivery, it’s more a donation from her than a job. Me, I just donate some baked goods and chauffeur service. Livey's Meals on Wheels deliveries are k's perfect excuse for baking, and for checking out the gorgeous scenery here in the Northwoods.

Two weeks ago Monday, I sent out three loaves of bread and some Sin Rolls with Livey for the Meals on Wheels folks. Me, I don’t have the timing down too well yet, so it was a little late. Luckily the customers didn’t mind when they realized why it was late.

In fact, on the next week’s run, one nice old guy was sitting out on his porch waiting for us - something he’s never done before. He wanted to tell Livey how good that bread was last week, and that he still had two slices in the freezer. Whee!

This guy is seriously cool. He’s in his 90’s, and missing half an ear. He takes care of himself pretty well still, half ear nothwithstanding. The neighbor ladies look in on him time to time. In the summer he supplements his Social Security with garage sales. He’s a cute, sweet-tempered old man, living out his remaining years in his own home. We should all be so lucky, right?

I slept through the next lunch day. No baking. Next time, I almost made it…but even though I got up at 5am, I missed the 10:30 delivery deadline by about 15 minutes.

Livey said, No prob. The folks at the community center will be glad to get it.

So I went with her and delivered three loaves of slightly underdone, slightly squished loaf bread; three plates of Sin Rolls, half raisin, half plain, all with classic Cream Cheese icing; and two plates of *medicinal* oatmeal raisin cookies. I make a version with some extra oatmeal in it. Good for digestion! Good for your cholesterol!

Good excuse to eat cookies!

All of it was still very warm, and smelled to high heaven of fresh bread and cinnamon and cookies and all that.

Oh, those community center ladies were SO sweet! They were very happy to see all this food come in, and fell all over themselves thanking me.

I told them I was glad to have someone to bake for, that I love to bake but can’t eat much of it because I have diabetes now. One lady said --Oh, so do I! Who cares?! - and headed right for a Sin Roll. I mean, she dive bombed that plate.

Whereupon I respectfully explained, I certainly have been known to sneak a roll myself. Or two.

SUCH fun!

I’m determined to get the timing down on this Sin Rolls on Wheels thing. I love the thought of home delivered fresh bread and stuff. Livey says there’s no reason we can’t bring Mr. Half Ear a loaf next time I’m making it for own selves. Who needs to wait for Meals on Wheels day? Good point.

One thing I’ve noticed when older folks get home baked bread? They get this faraway look in their eyes, and start counting backwards to when they last ate some. Something like this: –Let me see…My mother baked, until she had this car accident in, what was it, ’62?, but then Aunt Beady took care of us for about a year after that till Mama got better but after Aunt Beady left Mama still never baked again so the last time I actually had it was 1963, so that’s, okay, it’s say 44 years…

This Monday, I finally made it on time. Woke up at 4:30am, almost early enough. I realized I had only enough white sugar for the bread, no sin rolls. That probably helped. Timing two different yeast breads at the same time can get tricky.

I made the oatmeal raisin cookies, they use brown sugar. And since Livey’s lovely daughter brought me real for real loaf bags - she works in a bakery - for the first time in my life I didn’t have to use ziplocks that are never quite the right size. Oh happiness!

When Livey got up, the loaves were still rising. I’d kept falling asleep while the bread rose, then luckily waking up just in time for the next step in cooking. She looked at the finished loaves cooling and said, My God, the whole kitchen’s all cleaned up. The only way I can tell you baked is because I see the loaves sitting there.

They were cooled enough to cut and get out the door just in time. The community center got none this time. No no no. The good stuff was all packed up for the Meals on Wheels recipients.

I coded them by the plastic grocery bags I packed them in. The cookies and loaf for Mr. Half Ear were in a Whole Foods bag. This other nice lady got a Dominick’s food store bag.

The Bat Lady got…Walmart.

When we got to Mr. Half Ear’s house, Livey told him I baked his bread and cookies special because I had a crush on him. Heh!

He giggled.


Granny J said...

Talk about old-fashioned-- the ladies at Mom's assisted living place are mostly over 90, maybe late 80s. The foodservice director unfortunately is reading the trade press & the regular press which is full of talk about Baby Boomers growing old. So the menu always includes a lot of recipe food that literally shouts "Baby Boomer foodie!" Mom's table companions long for old fashioned home cooked foods. You are doing good, k. I'd love some of your bread.

Nancy said...

Good for you K!!

And here I was, just fussing at Livey for you not posting...


Wonder how your sin rolls would travel in the mail?

Desert Cat said...

Tag, you're it!

Cindi said...

Are sin rolls the same as cinnamon rolls? Yum...home baked bread. I haven't made that in many many years.

Doom said...

Well, if you ever get all the timing, waking, and baking down pat, you will have to roll that into a book and sell it while it is hot!

Do take care of yourself though too. I am so glad you can help others, feed others. Theres is something so good about that. I have been beckoned to a camping outing, but will be getting another four or eight loafs out shortly. In a way, you have fed even those here. You taught. You are far busier than you had thought!

Be well and enjoy your time.

k said...

granny j, that food fashion thing just riles me up. It pretends to be science when it's not, and from where I stand, most of that fat-free sugar-free substitute chemicals for Real Food business is the exact opposite of what's advertised: I think it's very much LESS healthy for us. That's what I think of when I hear Boomer Foodie news.

Not to mention: what the heck is the matter with having your food taste good? It's SUPPOSED to!

argh! Huge rant building up in me on that subject, there.

I would adore showering your mom's assisted living place with some real food, and you too, and Nancy and Cindi and DC and EVERYONE who might like some.

Nancy, thank you! It's getting there, the posting thing. Having two bloggers on one internet connection is definitely tricky! Then add in that we're spending a lot of our free time together, so when we aren't, we're both *ready* to blog at the same time. But we're working on all that.

Actually, I've considered the logistics of sending breads out to people. Livey's daughter the baker tells me her bakery does that, and if you pack it very airtight it does well. Me, I'm way fussy on freshness. I'd want to drop it by FedEx - still warm! - at the 9PM deadline for delivery first thing in the morning. Done that way, it should still be reasonably fresh.

The shipping would cost a fortune, of course. But if anyone ever wins the lottery and wants to pay like $40 - $50 or so for some fresh baked bread and sin rolls and whatever else fits in the box? Sure, I'd do that. In a New York minute.

Cindi, you got it. They're so good that when I started calling them *cin* rolls, just for a nickname, the neighbors got the giggles and said, Yeah. Sin rolls. The recipe yields up cinnamon rolls that are similar to the *Cinnabons* sold at travel hubs - except mine are way better.

doom...YAY!!! Boy oh BOY, that was great to hear! That's like the old saw about *I can feed you a fish, or teach you how to catch one.* To hear you're planning on doing more baking is music to my ears.

I do have to watch it sometimes on the energy level. That's why I sleep through some of the Meals on Wheels days. But you know how, at the beginning of a serious permanent health issue, it can be all confusing and frustrating and difficult to admit it's time to take a rest day? And then, five years later, you remember how much it bothered you at the beginning? I do pretty well with that now. Not perfect of course, but definitely much more patient with having to be a patient.

Enjoy your outing, too! Hearing that you're able to go out and do something like that is great stuff too, right there.

DC! HA! Okay. I know what to do.

Jean said...

How very cool!!!
bless you both.

mmmmmmmm... I really think I can smell the bread... or, is that Doom's? heh. yummy.

kdzu said...

You to girls are the "bomb". God Bless you both.

Just good ol' girls. Both of you............... Belles.

Cindi said...

Okay, now I am lusting for Sin rolls! Recently one of our elderly regular out-patients brought in some "Gorilla Bread" and gave it to us girls at work as a Thank You gift. It was like Monkey Bread only it had cream cheese in it too. Lordy that was yummy. Have you ever heard of it?