Breakfast is served at Kendal

This letter was written by Janet W. to Joel Crea, editor of the The Plain Dealer’s weekly “Taste” section. Janet was an Assistant Food Editor for The Cleveland Press in the 1950’s and had a varied career in the food industry until retirement in the 1990’s.

Hello Mr. Crea:

Thank you for your interesting story on hot cereals in The Plain Dealer last week. 

I thought you might be interested in the way I prepare hot cereal for my husband on Saturday mornings. I grew up with my mother preparing the ingredients for hot cereal (for a family of 5 children) putting the ingredients in a cooking pot and placing it over the gas pilot light of our gas stove(in the 1940’s when stoves had small pilot lights which were always burning). In the morning it was the perfect temperature and consistency for breakfast.

My current method is to put the ingredients (for just one serving)….water, a combination of old fashioned oats, oat grouts (American’s answer to Irish oatmeal and less expensive), wheat bran and a bit of salt and letting it sit covered overnight, then cooked over low heat in the morning until hot and creamy…and good!!

We live at Kendal at Oberlin, a continuing care retirement community, and our cafe serves a Baked Hot Oatmeal which is a favorite of all breakfast eaters. So the following recipe is available for all who ask for it.

Hot Baked Oatmeal, Kendal Style

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together oil, sugar and egg. Add remaining ingredients and pour into greased shallow pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Have you considered doing a story on the good food served at retirement communities? At Kendal, we have a production chef (graduate of the culinary program at Lorain Vocational School and several courses at the CIA and many years as a chef), a director of Dining Services(with a degree in business and many years in the food service industry), a Dining Room Manager (with a background of dining management at the Cleveland Athletic Club) and a staff who serve appetizing, healthy and savory foods in an array of choices to the delight of 300 residents and 200 staff with varied food needs and wants… and certainly opinions!!

Two of our resident committees focus on food (which I chair) and nutrition and meet with the dining services staff on a monthly basis and, among other charges, review the changing menu offerings for each season.

I’m sure we are but one of many retirement communities in the NE Ohio area which offer nutritious, well prepared and delicious meals pleasing to the residents.

Worthy of a story? I think so.

If you agree that the idea has merit, I’ll assist in any way I can.

I look forward to the Taste section of the Plain Dealer every Wednesday. You and your staff are doing an outstanding job.

Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing from you.

Janet K.-W.

March 7, 2012