Christmas is the perfect time to create memories and enjoy good food, and a book being released in support of Langley Meals on Wheels just in time for the holidays does exactly that.
Reminiscences, Recipes & Remedies celebrates both nostalgia and nourishment as Langley seniors reminisce about their food heritage.
The soft-cover book contains 20 local seniors’ recollections of favourite meal-related memories. Nearly 250 pages long, it features 39 stories, illustrated by one of the seniors on the committee that oversaw the project.
Appropriately, the idea for the book began over a meal, explained Meals on Wheels executive assistant Cheryl Wheaton.
A group of seniors taking part in the Walnut Grove Food and Friends program, which is one of six operated by Langley Meals on Wheels, found they spent much of their time sharing memories of meals long past as they sat and enjoyed a monthly lunch of soup and a sandwich.
About a year ago, they cooked up the idea of recording those memories and binding them in a book.
Armed with grants from New Horizons for Seniors and Langley Literacy now, 12 volunteers were sent out to interview local seniors and returned with recorded tales that were transcribed, edited and put into print.
The smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the house and memories of Sunday dinners of roast beef and chicken were what some best recalled, said Wheaton.
For another person, she said, the book project brought back memories of spartan meals of potato soup when times were tight.
Others recalled being taught proper table manners.
“There was a wide variety, but most reminisced about childhood experiences with food,” Wheaton said.
The research had an another, less intentional, benefit, she noted. Some of the seniors interviewed were housebound, and welcomed the opportunity to just sit and visit for a while with the volunteers.
With a foreword by Langley historian and author Warren Sommer, the books will be available for $20 each on Dec. 19.
In order to have them under the tree in time for Christmas, people are encouraged to pre-order them through Meals on Wheels.
Proceeds from sales will go to support Meals on Wheels programs. Call 604-533-1679 to pre-order a copy of the book.