A while ago, we had a client whose grandmother had routinely made pumpkin rolls as a Thanksgiving dessert. As the holiday approached, the young man asked if he could work with our culinary staff to make this dish for his peers and share the tradition. Clients who have an interest in the culinary arts and reach the necessary milestones of behavior, often find working in the kitchen alongside the Rose Hill culinary team a fun experience with long- term benefits.
Working in the kitchen not only expands their culinary skills, but teaches employer- requested experience and instills values such as a work ethic, responsibility, and safe practices.
Learning about sanitation, food safety, and basic food preparation are useful and necessary skills for most people who someday wish to live independently. For an addict who is at the lowest point of their lives, the ability to transform a set of ingredients into a tasty dish is a major accomplishment.
Being trusted to perform basic tasks is one of the milestones towards recovery, so simply peeling potatoes, learning to make seafood chowder, or even baking brownies by yourself with a deadline is important. Pumpkin roll is not a French pastry, but a recipe available on every label of canned pumpkin. If you are under pressure to make it like Grandma used to; doing so is a major responsibility.
The culinary and clinical staff agreed that this activity would be useful. The client, who already enjoyed helping in the kitchen approached his task with determination. He was incredibly proud as he distributed the final product to his peers, who very much enjoyed the dessert. The client teared up as he did so. His grandmother had passed away a short time before, and his first holiday without her was going to be spent in “rehab.”
Being able to share this tradition with his peers, to successfully accomplish a goal, and deal with grief without using; these are the “wins” we wish to always celebrate at Rose Hill.
– Aron McLaughlin, Rose Hill Family Support Specialist