A dedicated chef who designs menus together with residents has helped Clovenstone Care Home become the first care home in Scotland to be awarded the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life (FFL) Catering Mark – and only the second in the UK.
Christine McKee has worked as Senior Cook at Clovenstone Care Home for two years. She and the residents have worked hard together to redesign the menu, taking into account their likes and dislikes and cooking almost every meal from scratch.
In achieving the Bronze FFL standard, the care home has emulated the success of Currie High School and Buckstone Primary School, the two other Council pilot locations for the scheme, which were awarded the Catering Mark earlier this year.
The FFL Catering Mark is a UK-wide certification scheme which provides a guarantee about the provenance and traceability of food and recognises caterers’ commitments to serving meals that are fresh, seasonal and better for animal welfare.
More than 3.5 million FFL meals are served in Scotland each year, including school meals served by Councils in East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, Highland, Stirling, East Lothian, and Fife.
City-wide consultation on the Council’s Sustainable Edinburgh 2020 framework identified food as key action area for a sustainable city.
In November 2012, the Council agreed to work with Edinburgh University and NHS Lothian on the Edinburgh Food for Life (FFL) Partnership to pilot the Soil Association’s FFL Catering Mark standards as a framework for sustainable food systems within each organisation.
The aim of the pilot within the Council is to work towards the FFL gold standard in the three pilot locations and to evaluate the benefits of rolling out the standards throughout the Council’s catering operations and contracts.
Councillor Ricky Henderson, Convener of Health and Social Care, said: “This is a great achievement by Clovenstone in becoming the very first care home in Scotland to land this award. My congratulations go to everyone involved, and most especially to Christine, who has done a remarkable job in redesigning the care home’s menu for the benefit of all the residents.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, Convener of Transport and Environment, said: “For all three of our pilot FFL locations to have attained the Catering Mark in such a short period of time is testament to the Council’s strong commitment to sustainability and to providing fresh, nourishing and locally sourced food across our facilities.
“We need to keep up the momentum now and strive towards FFL gold standard for each of these three locations.”
Laura Stewart, Director Soil Association Scotland, said: “I’d like to congratulate the City of Edinburgh Council on achieving another Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark, this time for Clovenstone House. Clovenstone is the first Care Home in Scotland to be awarded the Catering Mark and only the second in the UK.
“The award marks another step towards changing the food culture across the Capital, through the ambitious Edinburgh Food for Life partnership.
“Food plays an essential role in our health and wellbeing throughout our lives, and it is vital that those in residential care service settings can enjoy fresh, seasonal, healthy and tasty meals that are not only good for us, but better for the planet too.
“We look forward to continued work with the City of Edinburgh Council into next year, and rolling out the Catering Mark more broadly across the city.”
Christine McKee, senior cook at Clovenstone Care Home, said: “I feel very strongly about making an effort and caring about doing the best job possible for our residents as they have to come first no matter what!
“We have meetings with the residents monthly to find out their likes and dislikes and we discuss if the residents have any old recipes or old favourites that they would like to see on the menu and I always use this to make up the nutritionally balanced menus with the help of our dietician. We get really good feedback from residents and their families about the menus and from the care staff – I have also had residents families asking for the recipes of some of the puddings!
“We all work closely together as a team to ensure that both staff and relatives work hand in hand to provide this area of the residents’ care.”
The Edinburgh FFL Partnership is funded jointly by the Scottish Government and each of the three public sector partners, employing a Supply Chain Manager to improve communications with local suppliers in order to improve availability and cost of more local and sustainable produce.
The wider partnership approach is designed to harness the combined buying power of three major public sector organisations in the city to influence the availability and cost of more local and sustainable produce.
Now you can try the recipes at home:-
Jeanie’s Sausage Stovies
Boil sausages, take skin off and cut in to bite sized chunks.
Dice potatoes, some large some small
Dice lots of onions.
Little beef stock.
Put potatoes and onions into pot with stock and boil till larger potatoes are cooked then add sausages and heat through, check for seasoning then serve,
Jeanie’s Lentil soup
Steep the Lentils (Jeanie says this works best)
Boil with Chicken stock and lots of diced onion.
Jeanie boils her carrots separately and then purees them before adding them to her soup.
Nan’s Lamb Chops
Brown chops then add to casserole dish and cover with Lamb stock cube
Once cooked thicken the stock with a little Bisto.
Nan’s Eve’ Pudding
Stew some apples with a little sugar put into dish and sprinkle a few raisins over.
4oz Self raising flour
Beat together put on top of the fruit and bake.