I was always convinced that when I retired 2 years ago at the age of 65 after having a full working life sometimes working 50/60 hours a week running a catering franchise on a Holiday park as Chef and restaurantaur, I would want to put my feet up and enjoy a well earned rest.
I made a lot of friends with the holiday makers over the years, and we had many regulars that came back year after year and I would quite happily leave the kitchen for a chat by the pool and hear their news and see how the children have grown, some came as youngsters and now returning with youngsters of their own.
After my retirement I would often go and play Scrabble with the residents of local care homes, I loved listening to their stories of when they were young and growing up in the war years, some asked me about my life, they were very interested that I was a Chef, and told them I missed cooking for the masses. Jenny the events co-ordinater explained to me that some of the ladies missed cooking also, especially the long term residents, we came up with an idea! I would go in 1 day and cook with them, most had ailments, some had arthritus, some a slight form of dementia, but most just old age with no family and no homes of their own.
So, bowls and wooden spoons at the ready, we measured, scooped, mixed and whizzed, and ended up with lovely Fairy cakes, all shapes and sizes, with a little dab of icing on top, they declared a wonderfull afternoon was had by all, and after a nice cup of tea and and a home made fairy cake, it was decided we should do it more often. So folding my apron and packing away, a lovely resident came up to me and said, “What a lovely afternoon, I never though I would be cooking again”, just because you’re not in your own home every one should have a baking day!!!
Since writing this I am now going there once a month; I also have a part time job in a local Care home as a kitchen assistant, once a worker always a worker.
Written by: Evelyne Hayden