Cooking Up a Storm at Villa Maria Fortitude Valley

on the Wednesday, May 5, 2021

What started as a monthly activity at Villa Maria Fortitude Valley Residential Aged Care has turned into a special cookbook with residents, staff and families all contributing their family favourite recipes.

“We started the project last year as an activity to share special foods and meals,” says Beth Kitoli, Residential Manager.

“Recipes in the book were done as group cooking activities and the dishes were shared and enjoyed by all the participants each time.

“It was not until a resident brought forward the great idea to put together a cookbook that we started gathering wonderful recipes from everyone at Villa Maria. Our first Villa Maria Family Cookbook is now here featuring 18 recipes from chicken fried rice to fluffy pancakes and Chinese dumplings.

“Residents and staff come from a wide range of diverse backgrounds so the Cookbook features favourites from many cultures.”

Joanne Leung, Diversional Therapist at Villa Maria, has been central to the Cookbook. Joanne gathered the recipes, took photographs and produced the book to share.

“These are recipes which residents have prepared based on personal favourite occasions and events in their lives,” says Joanne. “Each recipe in the Cookbook includes a brief story about why the food is so important to them.

“The project was great for memory support (reminiscing) and building confidence with residents actively encouraged to take part. Residents were all excited and proud to see their recipes in print.

“One of our residents, Anthony pictured above, was so proud to see his recipe in print that he took the book around to show other residents saying ‘look this is me’.

“The Cookbook has been a wonderful way to bind our residents together as a community, sharing precious memories in a very enjoyable way, leaving us with something of which we can all be proud.”

For resident Nanette, her recipe for rissoles on p8 is her mother’s.

“My sister and I learnt how to make it,” says Nanette. “I still follow my mother’s recipe, but my sister will add different ingredients. Both ways are still delicious. We always make this food for special celebrations and share it with my family.”

For Maureen, her cheesecake recipe on p10 was always a favourite at family gatherings and festivals or anytime as a dessert.

“I am sure there are many variations on this recipe, but this method is always a success.”

Anthony’s pancakes on p18 are another family favourite.

“This is my mother’s recipe which I still follow. This time I have added green food colour for St Patrick's Day.”

Click here to view the Villa Maria Fortitude Valley Cookbook

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