Delicious smells waft from the recreation area of Enliven’s Kandahar Home once a month as staff busily cook a special lunch for the residents.
Recreation staff Di McCuish and Debbie Laird arrive extra early on these days to prepare and cook the food and turn the room into a restaurant.
“We make it special – we set up the tables so it’s like they’re going out for a meal,” Di says.
“We even have an ‘open’ and ‘closed’ sign!”
Di and Debbie started ‘D & D’s Diner’ about five months ago, and they found it’s been a great activity that the residents can look forward to, no matter what the Covid-19 Alert Level.
“We’re getting a good response,” Debbie says. “We’re even seeing residents come down for lunch that we don’t usually have joining in on other activities.”
Last month saw D & D’s Diner serve up a hangi and homemade rēwena bread, made with help from resident Kate Apanui.
“We asked them if they wanted to have another hangi because the one we put on for them for Matariki was such a success,” explains Di.
“We got all the ingredients and Kate kneaded the bread herself. When she was making the bread, she was talking about how she was doing it, she was very intent on doing it all herself!”
Once the kai came out of the oven, Debbie says they served it still wrapped in tinfoil, so residents could experience unwrapping the food and enjoying all the lovely, smoky smells.
“I love seeing people enjoy food – it’s really like they’re going out for lunch.”