By Kathleen Truelove
Those pumpkins at residents' doors arrived because one resident asked Dan Hall, Director of Dining and Hospitality, if the Corner Cupboard could get pumpkins for people to buy for fall decoration. Dan did much more than that. He went to Baugher's Orchard and Farm and purchased six pallets of pumpkins, which were distributed to all of the clusters, at no cost to residents. They have brought a bright touch to fall at Broadmead.
Dining Services has undergone many changes as a result of the pandemic. Serving food to residents in their homes is a team effort, Dan says, and everyone is pitching in. Each morning, Katie Smith, Catering Coordinator, and a couple of other staff count the various orders from the 300 or so menus they receive. This is put on an Excel spreadsheet to let the staff know how many of each of the food items to prepare for that day. The food is then prepared and at 2:30 p.m. is put into two serving lines to make up the orders for 17 clusters. The food is put into containers for delivery beginning 7at 3 p.m. The order in which the dinners are delivered to the clusters is varied so that no cluster is always first or last.
The challenges during the pandemic have been ongoing. One issue has been portion size, which has been increased in response to residents' requests. Printing the gluten-free menus in a different color is a recent change, although this has long been the practice in Hallowell and Taylor. The initials at the top of the menu are those of either Assistant Executive Chef Jerrell Fleming or Dan Hall. The initials mean that one of them has reviewed the menu to ensure accuracy of the notations of salt, fat, gluten-free, etc., in the dishes listed.
Dan says that teamwork has been the hallmark of dealing with the pandemic and that the tweaking of processes continues with ideas from the whole staff. Asked what Broadmead's most popular food item is, Dan replies without hesitation, "Crab cakes!"