Question: I’m a 68-year-old widow who lives in Amesbury. Now that the good weather has finally arrived, I’d like to go out to have lunch once in a while and meet some new people. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: I certainly do. I am pleased to announce that our Traveling Chef Program has resumed this spring. Chefs from TRIO Community Meals, who also create the varied menus for our home-delivered meals program, travel to Councils on Aging (COAs) and congregate housing sites to serve special lunches. These meals are a little more elaborate than the standard entrees. For example, some feature soup, a more difficult item to transport.
AgeSpan is grateful to the Friends of the Newburyport Council on Aging and the Greater Newburyport Village for their generous donation to the program. It resumed in April, after being put on hold during the pandemic.
The Traveling Chef Program is not a cooking class or demonstration. Instead, the chefs arrive with the food in serving pans to keep the choices warm. Sometimes organizers of the events pair the meal with theme-elated entertainment. For example, they played Mexican music along with appropriate food for Cinco de Mayo. The May menu includes chicken fajitas, Spanish rice, corn, black beans, red onion, and salsa. Dessert is tres leches cake, a light sponge cake in a sweet milk mixture.
The June menu will consist of strawberry and goat cheese salad, Italian wedding soup, pita bread, and blueberry sour cream coffee cake. We will fire up the grill in July, serving a summer chicken barbecue along with berry cobbler, mac-and-cheese, and coleslaw.
Our dietitians report that the meals look great, and the program participants love them. The Traveling Chef lunches are well-attended, drawing as many as 80 people to a recent gathering in Lowell. You must sign up in advance, and a minimum of 25 people must be registered.
By the way, many COAs are open daily, serving the same menu as that offered by Meals on Wheels.
To obtain more information or to sign up for a Traveling Chef lunch, contact your local Council on Aging.
And by all means, please join us!