|Chefs Adrian Arias, left, and Keyva S. Linton show off plates of pureed food that have been styled back into their original shapes at Northbrook Inn.|
Today’s lunch menu features beef stew, mashed potatoes and gravy, with green beans as a side dish, a watermelon amuse bouche and a peanut butter cookie for dessert.
So chef Adrian Arias takes cooked green beans, puts them in a food processor and purees them, adding vegetable broth to boost flavor, a bit of starch for body and several drops of green food coloring. Pureeing with broth dulls the hue of the beans, so the green dye snaps it back. Then the mash goes into a pastry bag and is piped into a facsimile stack of green beans.
By now you might be wondering what strange new haute cuisine this could be. The answer is, we’re not visiting any three star Lincoln Park scientific gastronomy hot spot but in the spotless kitchen of the Northbrook Inn Memory Care Community.
Which brings us to the bad news.
Most of you know that Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia rob a person of the ability to remember. The body endures, almost mockingly, while the personality recedes. It can be baffling and terrifying for sufferers and heartbreaking for their loved ones.
As bad as that is, memory is only the first of a series of losses. Dementia is a hell with many levels. For instance.
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