October Kitchen LLC - December 2021

Check out our December newsletter!

This is our way of saying you are important to us, and we truly value your business. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to your friends and neighbors. ENJOY!


Meet the Team Behind Your Meals DECEMBER 2021

OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042


Enjoy Your Gifts —

Including This Very Moment Why Our Voicemails End With ‘Enjoy Today for the Gift That It Is’

With the year ending and winter shortening the days, you might feel pressured to make the most of your remaining time in 2021. I have some thoughts about what it means to “make the most” out of our time. One day, I listened to an interview with a poet on NPR, and that’s when I heard a verse you may recognize. In almost all our pre-voicemail messages, we try to include the phrase, “Enjoy today for the gift that it is.” What I love about the verse is that it reminds me it’s never worth thinking of time as running out — it’s always better to experience it as a gift. That’s not without complexities though, of course. It’s much easier for us to fall into a mindset of looking at everything as a commodity — we don’t mean to, but suddenly inconveniences can feel like massive obstacles. For example, during the pandemic, the food industry — like all industries — has had major problems with the supply chain. You could say these inconveniences are historical; there have never been more

shipping boats lined up at America’s biggest ports, with nearly a million shipping containers waiting to be docked and unloaded. This leads to a lot of shortages or higher expense of ingredients and supplies. I never thought I’d have to call several people to find Ritz crackers! I know that, if my mindset and routine were different, I might’ve felt bitter from the frustration and disappointment that can come with these types of situations. However, I’ve been lucky enough to adopt some rather universal strategies that help me take a step back, even before I need to. To make the most of any day, the first thing that helps me is planning. Creating (and using) checklists is a very important part of my day. Even if I have to do a repetitive task every single day, I make sure it’s on my checklist. There are even great studies about the power of having a checklist. In 2004, within just three months, the practice of using checklists in Michigan’s intensive care units (ICUs) dropped their

“Ultimately, gratitude

doesn’t just allow you to appreciate the present — it allows you to see opportunities that you might’ve never considered before.”

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Nothing symbolizes the holiday season quite like gingerbread. It can take on many forms: edible houses, gingerbread men and spiced cake-like bread. It’s no wonder that gingerbread has a long history that begins with ancient civilization traditions and still carries on today. Here’s how the use of gingerbread began and how it arrived in the states to become everyone’s favorite holiday snack. Gingerbread has been used in recipes all around the world. The first known recipe for gingerbread came from Greece. People would go to the temple of Athena and feed gingerbread to the guardian dragon. Then, within the Roman Empire, when people wanted the gods’ help, they would give a piece of gingerbread (braided like hair) as a gift. During the late Middle Ages, other Europeans received ginger from the Far East. Soon Europeans had their own version and it immediately became popular. In the Renaissance period, people would take gingerbread and shape it to display mythological scenes and also portraits FROM RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE TO CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY The History of Gingerbread

of saints and monarchs. At the end of the Middle Ages, gingerbread finally moved away from religious observances and was used for other activities. Germany took gingerbread to the next level. In fact, the gingerbread houses that we create today originated in Germany during the 16th century. Then, when the Brothers Grimm wrote the story about Hansel and Gretel in 1812 — with the witch’s house made entirely of candy and gingerbread — the popularity of this treat increased even more. Even when English colonists arrived in the New World, they brought their traditions and recipes of using gingerbread with them. Colonists would sometimes use gingerbread cookies in order to persuade Virginia voters to choose a certain candidate over another. Now creating gingerbread houses remains popular, especially around the holiday season. These traditions help make good memories that will last a lifetime!

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quarterly infection rate so low that the average Michigan ICU performed 90% better than ICUs nationwide. Now, checklists are instrumental in hospitals across the world. It’s also smart to do things that make you feel well and energetic, including exercise. I stand all day for work, so I make sure to exercise four days a week so I don’t tire myself out doing it! Even my young staff ask me how I make sure I stay so energized.

Lastly, yet most importantly, expressing gratitude and spending time with loved ones will help you get through anything. Maybe I couldn’t get Ritz crackers when I wanted them, but, in reality, I’m very lucky and grateful to live in an era of abundance. In today’s modern age, I have an incredible amount of options before I have to resort to altering a dish or taking it off the menu. And no matter what happens, even if I do get frustrated, I always have my healthy, happy family to come home to at the end of the day. If you’re looking for ways to make the most of your year, counting your blessings is definitely the way to go. Ultimately, gratitude doesn’t just allow you to appreciate the present — it allows you to see opportunities that you might’ve never considered before. It’s only human nature to enjoy our gifts to the fullest.

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How Victory Blamey Finally Achieved Her Dreams

Gotham Grill & Bar was once beloved in New York City. It had consistently high-quality food, mainly thanks to its past head chef and owner, Alfred Portale, who cooked in the kitchen himself for 34 years (not always common for famous chefs). Then, in 2019, news spread that Portale planned to leave for a new endeavor and would hand off the restaurant to a 39-year-old Chilean native, Victoria Blamey. New York media and customers alike had explosive reactions. On one hand, the media hailed Blamey for taking “a great step forward for all female chefs” and bringing a new era for the famously consistent establishment. Still, Blamey found this praise shocking. She didn’t realize just how big of a deal these changes would be for some of Gotham Grill & Bar’s frequent customers (whether it was her gender or her adjustments to the menu and silverware). She’d worked at some of the best restaurants all over the world with no issues like these in the past. However, Blamey would tell 50 Best Stories that Gotham Grill & Bar became a “traumatic experience.” Blamey was constantly criticized, bullied and belittled by customers. “I received a lot of hate emails, letters that were addressed directly to me, and really terrible comments that were not even about the food, but more like, ‘Why did I get out of bed to come here when she’s cooking?’” says Blamey. Gotham Grill & Bar was shut down when the pandemic began, which was a scary time for many chefs anyway. But things changed for her as she began to find new opportunities to embrace her true cuisine: Chilean food. Only a few months after closing Gotham, people invited her to events where she could serve her own food, her way. She created entries that reflected her Chilean heritage, including dishes that utilized seaweed (long a staple of her country’s cuisine) and particularly its stipe, the often-discarded stem. Renowned American restaurant critic Ruth Reichl said, “The astonishing seaweed stipe and rhubarb combination, like pasta of the sea and garden, [was a] feast of new flavors.” Now, she plans to open up a neighborhood concept in downtown Manhattan with a la carte offerings downstairs and private-tasting menu service upstairs. “It will be an expression of what I’ve been doing. We are going to have a voice in what we cook, we are going to try to be socially responsible … a lot of aquaculture: seafood, mussels, clams and also vegetables and grains.” Despite her recent historical challenges, it’s a relief to see that some of the unique chefs are being rewarded for their dedication and for accomplishing their dreams!




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24/7 Emergency Services OctoberKitchen.com 860-533-0588


309 Green Rd. Manchester, CT 06042


Why Our Voicemails End on This Quote


The Evolution of Gingerbread


Word Search


A Chilean Chef’s Pandemic Victory Story


Your Neighborhood Could Make You Unhealthy!



We all know that cigarettes can damage our lungs and that a diet high in sugar can increase our risk of chronic conditions, but did you know that where you live can be just as detrimental to your health? That’s the conclusion of a 2017 report that was conducted by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a private research institute that examines population, environment and health effects. The organization found that areas with higher poverty rates also saw increases in health concerns, stress and mobility issues. In 2021, the American Heart Association (AHA) corroborated these findings. In its report, the AHA highlighted a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that found that those who lived in “low socioeconomic” areas were 60% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. A 2020 study found similar results.

For older adults, these findings can be eye-opening. As we age, our body experiences natural wear and tear and many health experts believe social factors expedite the natural aging process. For example, if you live near a factory, the air pollution it emits could weaken air quality near your home and be detrimental to your health.

If you live in a neighborhood with poor mobility options or limited resources for support, consider partnering with a relative, friend, or neighbor. Make regular plans to walk in a nearby park or go grocery shopping at a healthier store together. Older adult ride services or in-home care services can also help you live independently in your home and neighborhood by bringing resources to you! You may not be able to change your neighborhood, but you don’t have to fall victim to its shortcomings. With a little support, you can thrive wherever you live.

The resources surrounding our neighborhoods can be just as impactful.

PRB reports that older adults are more likely to rely on neighborhood resources — like community centers and libraries — for means of social interaction and assistance. When their neighborhoods don’t have these resources or access to places like grocery stores and walking paths, older adults face the risk of accelerated aging due to limited access to exercise, healthy food and health- related resources.

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