Growing up on a farm in Viscount, Saskatchewan, Iona Thoen experienced the rustic beauty of the province and developed a knack for farming and baking. Now a resident of Saskatoon’s Preston Park II residence, Iona is still passionate about baking and about sharing her skills and recipes with friends and family.
Today we’re pleased to share Iona’s family recipe for Flapper Pie with you – with her blessing, of course. Flapper Pie was a treat that Iona’s mom would make for the family only on special occasions, since buying graham crackers for the crust at the town store was quite expensive. Decades later, Iona became well-known in her community for bringing her famous Flapper Pie to potlucks at St. Stephen’s church in Saskatoon!
Since growing up in Viscount, Iona married, continued farming near Viscount, had six children and is now a proud grandmother to twelve, and great–grandmother to thirteen. With such a large family to carry on the tradition, Flapper Pie will continue to be celebrated for a long time in her family.
Over the years, we’ve discovered that many of our residents have stories much like Iona’s, and incredible recipes to match. To celebrate these amazing recipes and the family history they represent, All Seniors Care will be publishing a cookbook in December 2018, with all proceeds benefitting local food banks.
The All Seniors Care cookbook will contain recipes from our senior housing in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec so that a diverse range of regional flavours and traditions are represented. Part of what makes Canada such a great nation is the unique cultural and geographic character of each province, and sharing traditions and stories about our homes when we sit down to a delicious meal brings us closer together.
Consider this a sneak preview, a mouth-watering sample from our upcoming cookbook:
Iona Thoen’s Flapper Pie
- 2 cups graham crumbs
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup margarine
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- Vanilla and almond to taste
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- Crust: Melt margarine. Add crumbs and sugar. Reserve ¼ cup of mixture for the topping and press the remainder into a pie plate. Bake in oven at 350°F until browned.
- Filling: mix all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook until thick and pour into baked pie sheet.
- Meringue: Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar and cream of tartar. Spread over filled pie shell. Top with reserved ¼ cup of crumbs and brown in a 350°F oven.
Mealtime is an important time at our various All Seniors Care locations, where our Red Seal chefs are constantly refining the menu and providing healthy, delicious meal options for our residents and their guests. At the same time, private suites are outfitted with kitchenettes, so when you host family members, you can always throw together a hot meal from scratch in an intimate setting. This allows residents to eat socially, or enjoy a quiet meal on their own.
Whether you’re using a celebrated family recipe or working out of a cookbook, intergenerational cooking is something that everyone can enjoy. Food is one of the most universal comforts that we can bond over, and teaching your grandkids how to cook will give them an early start on one of the most useful skills a person can have.
Sitting down with friends and family to a hot plate of pasta, a bowl of delicious soup or a roast chicken puts everyone in a good mood, providing sustenance for the body and the soul.
Baking Clubs, Independence and Community Support
Aside from cooking with family and friends, residents at our retirement homes often form baking clubs, making cookies, cake and pie from scratch and bringing joy to everyone by sharing the bounty. Typically, these clubs are resident-led, which is extremely important. At All Seniors Care, we maximize the opportunity for independence by providing the tools and resources needed to do meaningful work as a group – work that benefits individuals and the community. Baking, gardening, and group hikes are all types of healthy activities that provide a central interest around which folks can bond and feel good about themselves.
Many of our senior housing communities are located near schools and libraries, which means that residents can participate in intergenerational programming as well. Sharing stories and recipes with your kids and grandkids is great, but regular intergenerational programs at a local library can also provide an opportunity to promote literacy in young people, and stimulate brain activity in seniors.
Seniors can also can share history and wisdom, while also benefiting from engaging with the spontaneous, wondrous minds of children, which can be extremely energizing. Intergenerational story-time at the public library near our St. Alberts location is just one example of the many opportunities for this type of cross-generational exchange.
As we mentioned earlier, the profits of our cookbook sales will go towards supporting local food banks. Our company mission to facilitate independence amongst our residents is greatly tied to the value of community projects.
In our experience, most seniors are actually very energetic and motivated, and keen to engage with the community. Whether that means participating in a bake sale, knitting sweaters for the less fortunate or helping out around a community garden that feeds the neighbourhood, putting that energy back into the community feels amazing.
Fostering Connection with Food & Warmth
If there’s one thing the younger generation could learn from seniors, it’s how to connect through face-to-face interactions and hands-on work. You may be concerned that your grownup kids or your grandchildren are obsessed with their smartphones and don’t spend enough time just enjoying the present moment without anticipation of the next “ding” from their phone. Younger generations are incredibly smart and resourceful, but digital culture has perhaps led them away from heartier social activities like cooking, gardening or even enjoying a good book.
Connecting over dinner, a delicious Flapper Pie, a good book or story-telling session, or an afternoon in the garden is something that you and your grandchildren will always remember. At All Seniors Care, we wholeheartedly encourage our residents to share unique food and stories with their peers, family and the greater community. It’s a recipe for happiness!