Hospice of the Sacred Heart Preparing for Annual Thanksgiving Meal Delivery

Hospice Thanksgiving project

Hospice of the Sacred Heart volunteers are shown preparing a food assembly line for the 2018 Thanksgiving meal and delivery. This Thanksgiving morning, on Thursday, Nov. 28, Hospice of the Sacred Heart will again deliver meals to patients and their families.

This is the 13th year the hospice will provide this service project. Over 500 meals will be prepared by Mansour’s Market Café in Scranton, packaged, and delivered by hospice staff members and volunteers. 

Cheryl’s Cuisine: November 2019

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Now that Thanksgiving is knocking at the door, we cooks have one thing in common in preparing this feast:  Not enough room in the oven!

I have my standard stove/oven and my Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven and it’s still not enough room to prepare this gargantuan feast.  So, this month I’m looking at preparing side dishes which don’t require the oven.

After all, we have the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, pies, etc.,  so here are some great ideas that can all be fixed stove-top.

Acorn Squash Soup:

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 lbs. acorn squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
2 cups water
1-13 oz. can evaporated milk

Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat.  Add squash, onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.  Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until onion is softened.  Add water and evaporated milk. Stir, bring to boil and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender.  Discard bay leaf. Process with hand blender or pour into blender and process until smooth.   Note: May be made ahead and reheated.

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Sunshine Carrots:

1-2 lb. bag carrots
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup orange juice 
3 Tbsp. butter

Slice carrots diagonally, about 1″ thick.   Either steam or boil carrots to your likeness.  I always steam them as it preserves the color and doesn’t boil away the nutritional benefits.  Drain. Meanwhile, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and ginger in small saucepan. Add orange juice; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles.  Boil 1 minute. Stir in butter. Pour over hot carrots, tossing to coat evenly.   

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Garlic Swiss Chard:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chopped Swiss chard
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Heat olive oil in large frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add garlic. Heat and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Do not burn. Add Swiss chard. Heat and stir for 5 minutes until heated through and wilted.  Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated cheese before serving.  

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Ginger Glazes Parsnips:

2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 cups sliced parsnips
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed

Combine 2/3 cup orange juice,  water, vinegar and ginger in medium frying pan.  Bring to boil on medium heat. Add parsnips. Cook, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until parsnips are tender.  Add 2 Tbsp. orange juice and brown sugar. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until parsnips are glazed.  

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Cranberry Orange Relish:

12 oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
3/4  cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest

Combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, water and zest in medium saucepan.  Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Stir until sugar dissolves. Boil gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries split.  Remove from heat. May be prepared a few days in advance.

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Of course, you’ll need a break after dinner while the men in the house are cleaning up  (Dream on). Then it’s on to dessert… Here are two luscious ideas in case you’re too full for pie:

Brandied Peaches:

2 cans (14 oz.) of peach halves in juice, drain and reserve juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Good quality Vanilla Ice Cream

Chop peach halves.  Combine chopped peaches, sugar, brandy, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon and almond extract in saucepan on medium heat.  Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scoop about 1/2 to 1 cup ice cream into bowls.  Spoon warm Brandied Peaches over top. May be made in advance. Just reheat on low.

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Warm Banana Kahlua:

1 oz. light brown sugar
1 oz. granulated sugar
6 large bananas
4 oz. Kahlua liqueur
2 oz. butter
Good quality Vanilla Ice Cream

Caramelize sugars in a hot, dry saute’ pan, being very careful not to burn the sugars.  Add sliced bananas, Kahlua and butter. Remove pan from burner as butter and Kahlua should not cook.  Serve over good quality Vanilla Ice Cream.

Hospice Workers Deliver Thanksgiving Dinners to At-Home Patients

Hospice Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving morning, Hospice of the Sacred Heart delivered over 600 meals to their at-home patients and their families. This was the 12th year the hospice provided this service project.

Meals were prepared by Mansour’s Market Cafe in Scranton, packaged, and delivered by hospice staff members and volunteers.

Shown from left: Dr. Frank A. Bucci, Jr., MD, Hospice of the Sacred Heart Chairman of the Board, and Michele Penetar, BSN, RN, CHPN, Director of Patient Services.