Friday, 14 March 2014

Your own menu

Making Memories, Friday 7th March

The theme for the session was food from your travels abroad, and first tastes of foreign food here. I brought in Mediterranean bread, ciabatta bread, olives, sun dried tomatoes. bread sticks and some dipping oils. We discussed food stuffs that are familiar and are taken for granted in our modern world, for example curries- a firm favourite for many people-  but for most of the older generation I worked with today,  described as almost exotic and 'not for them'. As we get older for many of us we are programmed to the foods of our youth, to our traditional cuisine.

However, trying new flavours in familiar food stuffs worked really well- many people were squeamish about trying sun-dried tomatoes on their own, but happily munched on sun-dried tomatoes as an ingredient in the Mediterranean Bread. In both venues the staff said they would be trying this activity out again with different food stuffs. 

Taste is one of our most robust senses, although there is a small decline in taste in people over 60, older people need much more salt and sugar to be able to detect them. 

Trying the new foods out, stimulated conversations about first times for different foods and rationing... I feel its so important that with reminiscence activities we also also think about the future, you're never to old to try new things, and plan for the future- which takes me to the second activity- planning a perfect menu. 

The idea:

1. Prepare: gather together a range of 'vintage' and new menus, have a look for copies from your local cafe or restaurant and/or download ones from the internet.

2. Discuss then write down ideas for your perfect three course meal.  You can take inspiration from childhood favourites, or the fanciest restaurants, or family traditions... Don't forget to include a drink (or two)

selecting words from menu designs

3. Ask individuals to select words such as 'Menu' or 'Starter' from the 'real' menus, or printouts, then create a sandwich with a piece of plain paper at the bottom (cartridge paper or watercolour paper is nice) then a sheet of carbon paper then the printed menu on top.

4. Participants can then copy the selected word/s onto their paper. Encourage them to take different design elements and words from different menus to create something unique.

5. Finally participants can add their own choices to the menu, creating something truely unique.

6. Think about how these menu's could be used in a care setting or with family? eg. to help celebrate a special occasion?

hand writing the menu

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