Limerick nursing home residents contribute to recipe book that reveals just how good granny used to make it

Limerick nursing home residents contribute to recipe book that reveals just how good granny used to make it

Moira Hillard, 93, a resident of The Park Nursing Home in Limerick, pictured with the new book, which contains one of her recipes

LIMERICK nursing home residents are flavour of the month after contributing to a new recipe book backed by celebrity chef Darina Allen.

Friends Marie O’Hanlon, 78, and Helen Kirby, 70, along with Ellen Brennan, 80, Theresa Buston, 61, Julia Coleman, 92, Moira, 93, Bridie, 87, and Maura, 67, are among the star chefs of the Nursing Home Bake Off publication by Mowlam Healthcare.

The idea to gather a collection of residents’ favourite recipes was inspired by the baking skills of a 91-year-old woman in Ennis Nursing Home.

Ardent hurling fan and Liverpool FC supporter, Cissie Collins, bakes scones and apple cakes for fellow residents during baking demonstrations she hosts every Wednesday.

But it soon became evident that there was a large group of enthusiastic bakers throughout the countrywide group. It led to eight residents of nursing homes across Limerick chipping in with their special recipes.

Marie and Helen, residents of Adare and District Memory Care Centre, shared their traditional boiled fruit cake. Ellen, also based in Adare, showed off a delicious tea brack, while Theresa, originally from Patrickswell, contributed her homemade bread.

Life-long baker Moira baked a park brack from the kitchens of the Park Nursing Home. Kilmeedy-born Julia offered a strawberry sponge. Bridie, of Caherass Nursing Home, made mince pies and Maura, who lives in The Park Nursing Home, shared her delicious banana bread recipe.

They were among 51 kitchen-savvy pensioners living in Mowlam Healthcare nursing homes across Ireland who contributed recipes ­– some dating back three generations.

The 106-page book, which is not a commercial venture, teaches readers how to make simple, yet delicious, desserts. It also tells the stories of the exceptional men and women who shared their recipes.

Darina Allen backed the venture and gifted two of her own recipes to the book.

“I am so happy to support this inspired project, especially in the year that’s in it. Many wonderful recipes and stories of traditional home baking, with skills lovingly passed from mother to child down through the generations.

“Bravo to all the inspirational residents who contributed to the recipe book. How brilliant is it to see them living well and keeping up their skills in nursing home care. Keep baking and carry on,” said Darina.

Joe Hanrahan, of Mowlam, said the group was “delighted to facilitate the compiling and production of this beautiful book”.

“This book was a way of documenting recipes from yesteryear, learning from residents as well as supporting them to fill their days with meaning and purpose.

“While it has been different for residents in nursing homes due to the pandemic and restrictions on visiting, life did go on as normal.

“We are very proud that the skills and traditions of our residents are now in print and copies of the recipe book are being distributed to all Mowlam Healthcare homes,” said Joe.

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