With all the shortages in the super markets last spring, people began to take stock of what was in their kitchen cupboards. Did they have enough breakfast oatmeal, as well as toilet paper to get them through the pandemic? Then seniors got the notice that they should stay home, and only go out for emergencies, like doctor visits. Again, we looked at our cabinets. Maybe it was time to use those boxes of pasta and rice that would soon be reaching their expiration dates. Then the holidays came around, and people started grabbing some of those boxes and cans and donating them to places like Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund (LEAF) for those worse off. How many times have you dug into your shelves this year (compared to last year)? We have become the “human squirrels” of the 21st century!
They say baking provisions, like flour, flew off the shelves, and that people are baking more than they ever have. I had one 60 year-old man say that he treats his sour-bread dough starter like it was his baby, checking on it frequently. Another grandma said that she baked so many cookies in December that she ran out of people to give them to, and started freezing them. Another senior said that in her 76 years, she had never attempted to bake a loaf of bread, and when she did, she found it was almost raw inside because of Lyons’ high altitude. Have you baked more, and are still keeping it up?
And, how many of you are like me—tearing out of publications ten times more recipes to try out? Who thought of putting finely chopped onions on baked salmon, or putting charred florets of cauliflower in your mashed potatoes? Sometimes I just take one thing from a recipe, and add it to my normal way of cooking something. A 75 year old male friend of mine does that all the time. He also throws “everything” from the frig into his casseroles and on his pizza…no recipe needed! I saw a video on You-Tube of someone throwing ground up chicken and hamburger, with beets and cauliflower into a bowl, and thought of him. But, fortunately, it turned out they were making it for their dog!
CHANGES IN THE FARMERS MARKET
Did you know that half a century ago, people use to put one third of their money toward the cost of food?! Today we spend about seven percent of our family budget for groceries. I tried to track down some figures, and it went from $150 a person to $150 a week for a household; but, seniors spend closer to $50 a week. That doesn’t include carry out or restaurant eating. Of course, that would depend on if you lived in Longmont or New York city. Also, that depends on shopping at Whole Foods or Walmart, or going organic or processed foods. When I was younger, my mother had instilled in me that I had to compare prices, check weights, could I get it at a quantity discount, and more. Now I look more at labels to see if it was “wild caught,” how much sugar or sodium is in it, was it made by some unknown company in China, and such.
My mother grew up on a farm, and ate fresh foods. But when she got married and vegetables were put in cans, she felt it was the modern way to go. Everyone we knew ate canned vegetables daily. While canning foods was invented decades earlier for food preservation, it was during the mid-19th century, that canned food became a status symbol among the middle-class, from auto workers to bank tellers. As the urban class increased in numbers, the competition among canners grew, and the quality became better and prices went down. But don’t complain about people eating out of a can, as a 1997 study said that the dietary fiber and vitamins in canned fruits and vegetables were better than the fresh versions (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture).
In the early 1950s, Poppy Cannon’s “The Can-Opener Cook Book” became a best-seller with its suggestions for fast, easy family meals. I still have a copy of the funny “I Hate to Cook Cookbook” which had many recipes using food in cans. Mushroom soup became the new gravy. But there was a tiny glimmer of light in the 1960s with Julia Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” which showed these modern age cooks that they could easily make quality food, and it was alright to use lots of fresh butter!
And, who doesn’t have a copy of the best seller “Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book,” with its red-and-white checkered cover? I still use it as my fall-back resource. It came out during the Depression (before my time!) While the great solid recipes are the main reason for its success –cooks loved the revolutionary ring binding, which allowed the book to open flat on the countertop. Plus the easy to use index pages. It’s sold 40 million copies and is in its 15th edition.
INSTANT AND FROZEN FOODS
And, the other miracle was TV Dinners! People of all ages gobbled these amazing well-rounded dinners down. The first meal consisted of turkey, gravy, cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes, and buttered peas, and sold for 98 cents. In 1954, Swanson’s came out with the name and did a massive campaign, and the sales just kept growing into today, except we now call them “frozen dinners.” It still felt like mom was cooking it because she had to put the aluminum tray in the oven to cook it for 25 minutes at 425 degrees! Later a slot for desserts was added. And the Hungry Man line was added for bigger appetites, with “Mean” Joe Greene as its spokesman.
Of course, we ate them on individual TV Trays in front of the TV whenever we could. Oh, the slow diminish of families gathered around the table for conversation. As a parent, I made sure we ate every supper at the dinner table. It was the one time of the week that we were assured to see each other and be a family. They actually thanked me for it when they left and started their own families. My son said, “One thing I can say, there was always a hot meal on the table, and I could talk with everyone all at once.” Maybe not the most flowery compliment, but I’ll take it!
Farms: In the 1940s, a quarter of the population was in the food industry. By the 1960s methods had gotten so commercialized and handled by big farms that only nine percent of the population called themselves farmers. Did the modern methods help the individual? One noticeable thing is the perfection that we came to expect: the fruit and vegetables we eat today are far different than when I was young. The “normal” tomatoes and apples all had spots, or somewhat odd shapes. Now they are so perfect, they look like wax replicas.
Over the decades, there was a constant line of new Instant foods being created: instant potato dishes, freeze-dried instant Nescafe coffee, Tang instant orange juice, instant rice. I remember reading a report that said instant mashed potatoes were the top of the line, and was the only instant food that tasted as good as the real thing.
More women were entering the job market in the 1960s. Some “super-mom-employees” felt TV dinners were too gauche, and that cooking with Frozen products was the answer: bread dough, Green Giant peas, and Cool Whip. And, to keep the family happy when you don’t have time to bake cupcakes, there came thousands of Snack-food options: Pringles, Ruffles, Bugles, Doritos, and Ding Dongs. By 1980s it was a way of life.
In the 1960s, the US changed its immigration laws, and many more immigrants came in, with their native foods, and changed the landscape of America forever, beginning with them Chinese food and Mexican cuisine. But that’s for another day…
I hope you liked this trip down memory lane.
(Photo: Golden Gang Christmas Baking Bazaar 2009, by Kathleen Spring)
INFORMATION & ALERTS:
===Free COVID-19 testing is back this year — at the church parking lot on Second Avenue, next to the Recycle center, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Fridays, unless bad weather or a Holiday. === watch for changes to this in FLASH NEWS.
===COVID-19 VACCINES: Those 70 plus years in age are now moved up to Level 1B, and they will get their vaccine some time in late January, or by the end of February. You can contact your personal doctor to see if you can get on their list. There are so many partial facts floating around that I cannot list any one here, as it could change the next day. In the meantime, you can sign up for “notification” with your county. ==Boulder County residents == Larimer County- residents.
===COVID-19 The Recorder has a monthly article on everything you could ever want to know about the virus, such as “Is this the flu or covid?” “How many people have it in Lyons?” “What is the latest science news on it?”
===MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY: Monday, January 18. Federal and County offices are closed that day. It is also a FREE entry day to Rocky Mountain National Park, if you don’t already have a Senior Pass.
===CALENDAR: DATES/HOLIDAYS/DEADLINES/CLASSES: But you can always see what Holidays are coming up, what class deadlines are, what talks are at the library, and more on our FLASH NEWS page – fresh each week! See you in mid-February! With the next Senior News and calendar.
===INAUGURATION DAY: Wednesday, January 20. We have a complete page of all the facts you could possibly want to know about the day – including when it all started, with George Washington, what the Oath wording will be, the history of the Bible that Biden will be holding, what events are cancelled, and more.
===RECYCLE / DONATE/ CLEAN HOUSE: If you’re old fashion like me — the NEW YEAR is time to clean up the “old” to allow for the “new” –Put all your donated clothes and trinkets into a cardboard box and mail it free to a nonprofit: (1) this is not associated with any company like Amazon, it is an independent nonprofit company started in 2012 (2) use any corrugated box (3) print label – take it to UPS, fedx, or USPS (4) you’ll get a receipt when it is received and processed. — do it all from their web site. www.GiveBackBox.com
===WALGREEN’S = I know a lot of seniors use Walgreens and belong to their MyRewards Program. You must sign in and switch all your points to their new CashRewards Program by January 31 or you will lose them!
===SNOW SHOVELING: You must clean your sidewalks or get a ticket. If you are unable to shovel, contact Lyons Volunteers to arrange for someone to help you.
CLASSES, MEETINGS (3 county programs, followed by other programs)
===BOULDER COUNTY AREA AGENCY ON AGING (BCAAA)===
Boulder County Area Agency on Aging (BCAAA) has online and phone services for clients. The staff is available to answer calls and emails from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (303) 441-3570.
The BCAAA responds to the needs of older adults (60+) and their family and informal caregivers in our community through advocacy, funding, direct service, planning, and education.
***AGE WELL SERIES*** 9th Annual. It is open to the community at no cost. The series was planned and organized by a team of BCAAA staff and volunteers.
=Project Visibility: Creating Inclusive Communities for LGBTQ+ Older Adults (parts 1 and 2, Jan. 12 and 14)
=Supporting and Growing the Director Care Workforce (Tuesday Jan. 19)
=Reframing Aging: The COVID-19 Edition (Wednesday, Jan. 20)
=Change and Uncertainty: That’s Caregiving! (Wednesday, Jan. 27)
=Ending Ageism Together (Wednesday, Feb.3)
For questions, go to: email@example.com
===BOULDER COUNTY AGING/ NUTRITION is offering FRESH CONVERSATIONS===
This new program is being offered remotely via ZOOM to meet monthly, with a different nutrition/health topic being discussed each time.
Any Coloradoan 60 years old or older can participate in the meetings, especially those who are interested in positively transforming their personal health. Contact Patti Murphy, Registered Dietitian with Boulder Aging at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 441-4710. Sample topics are: Heart Disease Myths and Facts == The Down Low on Processed Foods == Keeping Up with Diet Trends.
The January 11th session has passed, but you can sign up for the February session here:
Fresh Conversations February 11th, 1-2 PM “Healthy Food, Healthy Brain”
The NEWSLETTER provides up-to-date information to you about nutrition and health research. Also low-cost health recipes, easy ways to be active at home, puzzles, games and more. (To only get the newsletter, and not attend the programs, contact Patti Murphy)
This is also a good way for you to connect with other older adults for a friendly discussion focused on nutrition and physical activity education.
===LARIMER COUNTY – OFFICE ON AGING ===
While the Lyons Recorder focuses on Boulder County most of the time, Larimer County has some excellent resources for those seniors who live in the vast areas around Lyons, such as Spring Gulch, Pinewood Springs, and more. See the list, and links at: https://www.larimer.org/humanservices/aging/ooa == 970-498-7750 ==1501 Blue Spruce, Fort Collins, CO 80524=Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., BY APPOINTMENT
===The Alzheimer’s Association has almost daily classes on different aspects of recognizing it, working with it, and assisting caregivers. Here is a link to the document listing all the classes, dates, and links, which you can bookmark or print up: https://stage.alz.org/media/co/documents/Regional-Education-Jan-2021.pdf
===Are you Feeling Down? LEAF offers (1) individual counseling and (2) free online group sessions for mental wellness. They work with your insurance, with Medicaid, and with your budget. The group session includes talks about dealing with stress, depression, using mindfulness tools, coping with grief, dealing with family, and more. You can write email@example.com for more information.
===RADON: January is National Radon Month. You can check your home with a kit bought at hardware stores or Boulder Recycles. 500 deaths occur Every Year~ in Colorado from lung cancer caused by radon inhalation. Learn more in our January 7th article.
===LYONS WEDNESDAY WALKERS: The Town of Lyons Recreation Department is still running the Wednesday Walkers group. The small group meets at the Senior Center at 11 a.m. and walks to a park and does some light exercises. Contact LRamsey@townoflyons.com to get on the e-mail list or to see if the class is running on the day you want to join them. Free. 55 years and older.
===ICE SKATING IN LYONS: The ice-skating rink in LaVern Johnson Park is now open. Skate rentals are available, as well as classes. Go here for all the facts: https://www.townoflyons.com/591/Ice-Skating-at-LaVern-M-Johnson-Park The park may close without warning if bad or warm weather. Use your free parking resident’s pass; otherwise you have to pay for parking.
FOOD/MEALS & HEALTH
===WELLNESS: We have a two-part article on how to do “SMART New Year’s Resolutions” for the year. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. The articles give both– examples of how to use the chart, and detailed explanation of what each of the letters stand for. It is written by local LEAF mental wellness counselor Cherie Maureaux. She states, “When we make intentional choices to grow in positive ways, we create a dynamic, worthwhile life – worth living. Here’s to a growth-filled new year, with friends and neighbors.”
===FREE MONDAY SUPPER: *new* Info: The River Church will be serving free suppers in a box to those who need a hot meal on Monday nights through the end of January (If Mana Cafe reopens in February, then the Monday suppers will be served ONCE a month). ==Arrive between 5 and 5:30 p.m. in front of the Walt Self Center. Please wear masks and stay six feet away from others.== NOTE: You can also pick up a meal between 5 and 6 p.m. at the church. == if you are unable to drive to the church or the Senior Center, they will deliver the meal to your home; call them (303) 823-6949. ==No other church has indicated that they will restart the Monday night Senior Suppers.
===BOULDER COUNTY AGING – LUNCHES: Changes for the lunch program: Boulder County Area Aging (BCAAA) is continuing its lunch schedule. But, starting in January, they switched to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Nutritious quality lunches for seniors ages 65 and up can be ordered by 1p.m. the day before at (303) 441-1415, and picked up in front of the Walt Self Senior Center at 12 noon. Please wear a mask and stay six feet away from others. == Upcoming meals include: Smothered Chicken Burrito, crunchy fish, oven fried chicken, and salmon and more! == I post the menu at the beginning of each month on the senior Facebook page.
We thank Teresa DeAnni, Boulder County Healthy Aging Program Manager, and Boulder County, for writing the grants to subsidize the lunch costs, and for Helen Vanderwerken for serving the meal boxes twice a week. It is keeping our seniors healthy and happy!
===LYONS EMERGENCY & ASSISTANCE FUND==repeats==
***The Food Bank that is run by LEAF will remain with curbside delivery, due to the “high risk” level of Boulder County. On Wednesdays, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., pull up in front of the Lyons Community Church, wear a mask, and stay in your car. Someone will come up to your passenger window and help you. If you are handicap or unable to drive to the Food Bank, LEAF can arrange to have the food box delivered to your home.
***Meals on Wheels is still active in Lyons, and handled through LEAF. If you are unable to cook for yourself, have a temporary disability (eg, operation or accident), or have other elderly disabilities, call them to set up delivery and to learn the cost.
***THANK YOU*** for the (1) “Super Duper Food Pantry” that included big boxes of canned and fresh foods and a ham for Christmas. This is a very big job to organize, and we all know your hearts are in it. Special thanks to all the volunteers, staff, Higher Grounds Ministries, Laura Levy Coldwell Banker, and more. (2) THANK YOU for the Christmas Giving Tree! Seniors asked for everything from a wool sweater to a car part! Many said it was their only gift, and they were delighted! Thanks Lyons citizens!
FUN THINGS TO DO
Richard Bennett, Rhonda French, Anita Rodriguez, Sandy Spellman, Cathy Rivers, Novella Maia, Lori Gilson, Geneva Sabados, Sonny Smith! And Many More!
===LYONS LIBRARY: The Lyons Community Library returned to Curbside Pickup Service only November 16th. The library’s hours of operation will remain the same (mainly open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. MOST DAYS), with some services still offered by appointment. We have a monthly article with updates. Or, go to: https://lyonslibrary.com.
Register now for their first Winter Reading Program: Warm Up to Great Books! The program runs January 15 – March 15, 2021 and features challenges for Kids, and Adults. Simply log your reading and activities and unlock badges to earn tickets for prize drawings. Register at: https://lyons.colibraries.org/2021-winter-reading-program/
===Two new Italian “Food Trucks” are in town. One is located by the U Pump It. And One is located by The Stone Cup (currently Tuesdays and Thursdays). Their hours keep changing during these initial days, so you should check their Facebook page or “just stop by.” Both have been highly recommended.