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Ideas for feeding elderly house guest

velochic Jul 19, 2011 09:24 AM

I'm looking for some ideas for my elderly aunt, who will be staying with us later this week. She particularly likes hors d'oeuvres. She likes the size of them because she is a natural grazer rather than being one to sit down to "3-squares-a-day". She lives (and was born and raised) in a small midwestern farming community. She is not really picky... she simply has not ventured out much and has not been exposed to a variety of cuisines. The only restrictions are that she won't eat chicken and she does not like Asian cuisine.

I'm looking for "small bites" ideas that I can prepare over the next couple of days and be able to pull out and cook/assemble for her quickly, as needed. I have my meals planned already, but she may or may not want to sit down to dinner. Keep in mind she has fairly simple tastes, so things like smoked trout canapés are pretty much out. Any ideas are appreciated, though, as we love to make tapas meals for ourselves as well.

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  1. ROCKLES Jul 19, 2011 09:34 AM

    I grew up in the midwest and am trying to think of the things my mom likes:
    Ham and cream cheese roll ups with onion or asparagus inside
    shrimp puffs
    shrimp skewers
    hummus with toasted pita
    veges and dip
    meatballs-turkey or beef
    boneless ribs
    taquitos, lumpia, fried paneer

    1. c
      cleobeach Jul 19, 2011 09:47 AM

      My elderly father had similar eating habits.

      He really enjoyed various cheeses (sliced or spreadable like brie) with hearty breads like rye. He kept both on the counter to put together a snack as the mood struck him. You could add a nice sliced meat with this.

      Will she eat hard boiled eggs? (or do these fail under the general chicken umbrella) Those could be done ahead of time and a small portion of egg salad would be easy to whip up.

      What about small cups of rice dishes? My grandmother liked little ramkins of various rices.

      1. a
        AnneMarieDear Jul 19, 2011 09:48 AM

        ham biscuits with honey

        rouladen and mustard

        cream cheese spreads stuffed in celery or spread on bread:
        -pimento cheese
        - cream cheese, green olives, walnuts

        croque monsieur sandwiches, cut into quarters

        deviled eggs!

        tomato sandwiches

        cucumber sandwiches

        Tuna or egg or shrimp salad on crackers

        lots of crudite and cut up fruits

        lettuce salads

        tomato and basil bruschetta

        a cup of soup is almost always welcome

        1. s
          sedimental Jul 19, 2011 09:52 AM

          Steak cubes in BBQ glaze
          macaroni salad, potato salad
          deviled eggs
          cheese cubes or triangles and crackers
          flavored cream cheese and bagel slices
          grapes and pre-sliced assortments of fruit in the fridge
          ham salad spread and rye bread

          1 Reply
          1. re: sedimental
            alliegator Jul 19, 2011 12:34 PM

            Very much agreed on the cheese and crackers. My grandfather lights up like a christmas tree when I give him some nice crackers and little cheddar cubes.
            Maybe some homemeade chex type snack mix. It can be made with all varieties of flavors and you can omit anything that would get stuck in teeth (real or fake) :)

          2. eclecticsynergy Jul 19, 2011 02:15 PM

            Some of these have been suggested already; I'll add my recommendation to those of previous posters...

            Cream cheese with chopped green olives/pimiento makes great finger sandwiches.

            Egg salad, always popular (unless, as suggested upthread, her dislike of chicken applies to eggs also). You can mask the chicken taste with a dash of curry powder if you want- another classic for finger sandwiches.

            Dried beef or pastrami make good roll-ups with cream cheese & chives & a little onion juice.
            Those ham roll-ups are great with a sweet gherkin in the middle too. 1950s classic.

            Salami and provolone or bologna and cream cheese, stacked in layers and cut onto wedges

            Jello and cottage cheese, always a great combination.

            Lox on crackers. Or in finger sandwiches. Not too exotic, I hope...

            Pierogies and ravioli both lend themselves easily to smaller portions.

            Little wedges of crustless cheese pie. Might have bacon, or asparagus, or sausage & peppers, or whatever's leftover from last night. (No need to call it quiche.)

            Tapioca or rice pudding in small pudding dishes.

            Summer squash or zucchini cut into coins, dry-fried in a nonstick skillet and seasoned with parmesan or romano.

            Biscuits with cheese inside. Or pigs in blankets.

            Tuna croquettes. Salmon cakes.

            Blackeyed pea fritters. Or BBQ bean fritters with the reserved liquid poured over as sauce. Easy and tasty.

            Fried chickpeas dusted with cumin or smoked paprika. Canned ones work fine as long as you dry 'em really well first.

            Leftover mashed potato patties or meat loaf cubes.

            English muffin pizzas, can be crispy or as soft as needed.

            Good ol' onion dip.

            Cheese or spinach puffs, perhaps even stuffed grape leaves?

            1 Reply
            1. re: eclecticsynergy
              cleobeach Jul 20, 2011 07:08 AM

              This -

              Lox on crackers. Or in finger sandwiches. Not too exotic, I hope...

              and this -

              Little wedges of crustless cheese pie. Might have bacon, or asparagus, or sausage & peppers, or whatever's leftover from last night. (No need to call it quiche.)

              made me smile. I basically took over cooking for my grandparents after my grandmother started cancer treatments. The first and only consideration I had was to make sure the meals were easy to make in large, freezer ready batches and easy to reheat. Their tastes just weren't on my radar.

              My mom was positive my grandfather would refuse to eat "fancy" food as he demanded the most basic of meat and taters for 50+ years of marriage.

              Much to everyone's surprise, he LOVED my food. His joy over eating something different gave him and my grandmother (who would have loved to try new dishes) something new to fight about :)

              I think sometimes the novelty of something, like a not-a-quiche crustless cheese pie, may make them feel special.

            2. v
              velochic Jul 20, 2011 04:12 AM

              Thank you all - excellent suggestions. I've jotted them all down and will go over the list with my mother (who knows this relative better than I do). Great ideas.

              1. d
                DGresh Jul 20, 2011 05:18 AM

                My older relatives love braunsweiger or liverwurst on crackers. It's good because you can just slice off a couple pieces at a time. Same with something like herbed cream cheese.

                1. alkapal Jul 20, 2011 05:20 AM

                  i just saw a really cute idea for "potato skin" quiches -- basically a baked tater skin filled with an egg and fresh spinach mixture with cheese on top. looked very good. who doesn't like potatoes?

                  here is the link for the recipe: http://thethriftygourmetcooks.blogspo...

                  to gild the lily, one could then top them with a little dab of sour cream, and to get really fancy, a touch of caviar. i'd skip the caviar and put freshly fried bacon bits!

                  taking a hint from a link above…. i know my mom loved those red lobster "cheddar bay" biscuits, and they'd be good with a little slice of ham!

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