Norma Rodriguez of Supportive Living cares.
You can tell by looking at the meals she prepares for the residents in Willow Valley’s Arbor View nursing care community. Each plate expresses her feelings of love and caring for those she serves.
Norma has been serving meals at Arbor View for 17 years.
She knows each of her residents and thinks about them as she prepares their meals with love, attention to detail, and pride. “I want to make their dining experiences extra special every day,” said Norma. She considers the colors of the food, textures of the food, and of course, the taste of the food as she is creating each meal. She imagines how the entire meal will look on the plate as it is served.
While at home, Norma takes the time to experiment with different ingredients to create special culinary presentations to those she serves at Willow Valley. Norma creates a beautiful parfait by pureeing brownies, graham crackers, and strawberries with cream. She uses different amounts of cream in batches to create different hues. Alternating dark chocolate with light, mixing deep red with luscious shades of pink, she layers them artistically in a glass. “I try to make them look like sand art,” said Norma, “with varying colored layers.” Norma’s desserts are lovely works of art that are easy to eat, light yet decadent. Even for everyday meals that have to be puréed for easier consumption by residents in nursing care on a special diet, Norma still takes the time to focus on presentation, making the dishes look special for her residents.
Norma’s extra effort, thoughtfulness, and love for her residents infuses her work with excellence. And it is so appreciated by her residents as well as their families. But Norma doesn’t see anything extraordinary about what she does, “I just want to make the meals look nice for them,” she says humbly. “It’s what they deserve.”