Crane’s Mill Retirement Community Hosted Fall Cooking Demo

Northern New Jersey’s premier senior living community provided a step-by-step taste of a delicious assortment of autumn-inspired dishes.

Gourmet food at a retirement community … at Crane’s Mill, that’s not marketing-speak—it’s par for the course. Executive Chef Peter Day crafts, and continuously reinvents, mouth-watering menus for Crane’s Mill residents on a daily basis.

Today, residents and guests got a taste of Thanksgiving, with modern takes on appetizers, side dishes and dessert, along with a main course served to provide a great new way to use those leftovers.

Chef Peter took center stage for a television-style cooking show, complete with a sous chef and server to round out his team. The demo was interactive from the first moment, as attendees asked questions, saw the action on the overhead big screen, and sampled each course.

Here’s a look at the menu along with some tips and pics from the event. Bon appetit!

Crab Stuffed Mushroom with Mustard Cream Sauce
Crabmeat provided a sweet, decadent, and perfectly seasoned filling for an earthy silver dollar mushroom, with a touch of silky mustard cream sauce. Chef Peter says: Crab is delicate, don’t overpower with flavors, but use seasoning to complement and bring out natural sweetness. Also, clean mushrooms with a brush or paper towel, not water, as the mushrooms will absorb the liquid.

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
Rich, hot, seasonal soup with complex nutty flavors—perfect for freezing to reheat on a chilly winter’s eve. Chef Peter shared an effortless way to peel ginger—use a spoon to scrape the outside. Who knew it could be so easy!

Rutabaga
Maple syrup and rosemary roasted rutabaga—sweet and savory with a bit if a bite. This root vegetable can be difficult to cut, so Chef Peter suggests opting for the pre-cut variety. Though slightly more expensive, it’s widely available this time of year and is handy to save time and potential nicks with the knife.

Cauliflower with Gruyere and Bacon
An unctuous and surprisingly simple treatment for a familiar favorite. Guests were oohing and ahhing at how just a little bacon and cheese could turn this vegetable into a standout side.

Turkey Cacciatore
A tasty, rustic solution for leftover turkey—tomato sauce married with turkey stock, peppers, and mushrooms, served over spaghetti. A creative way to take leftover turkey from run of the mill to exciting and fun! Guests learned an easy trick to de-rib a green bell pepper—cut the pepper in half and hollow it out with two fingers. It’s easy and very effective!

Pumpkin Mousse
A cloud-like mousse capped the afternoon like a sweet taste of autumn … complete with a candied pecan for a bit of crunch!

If you’re interested in recipes, the Crane’s Mill Courier has you covered! Click here to send us an email and we’ll make sure to pass them along.