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May 20, 2022

Rock Creek Senior Living Culinary Department to Honor Asian American Pacific Islander Month

Category: Senior Living

Author: Josh Beauchamp, Regional Director of Culinary Programming

May is Asian American Pacific Islander month, or AAPI for short, a time to celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States and their contributions to the history of this country. By recognizing the culture, history, and achievements of Asian American and Pacific Islanders, we can broaden the understanding of their countries and cultures, as well as enhance the appreciation for all that they have given to make this country great.

As is the case with many commemorative months, AAPI originated with Congress. In 1978, Congress passed, and President Jimmy Carter signed into law, a joint resolution declaring a week in May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.” This was later expanded to a month, and in 1992, May was designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

At Rock Creek Senior Living Ankeny, IA, we will be celebrating by making cashew chicken from China. From Fiji, we are making fish suruwa, which is a stew made with coconut milk and Indo-pacific spices. From Japan, we are making vegetable sushi rolls. To finish the celebrations, we are preparing kimchi by marinating it at the beginning of the month, letting it ferment, and then enjoying it at the end of the month.

I chose to make cashew chicken because it is a good, neutral way to introduce Chinese cooking to our residents with ingredients that they are familiar with. We’re making fish suruwa to introduce garam masala and to show how coconut milk can add depth and flavor to stews. I also want to highlight the Fijian cuisine while providing ingredients that aren’t completely new or that they aren’t familiar with. The vegetable rolls from Japan are a great way to introduce residents to sushi without the use of raw fish. And the kimchi is a great representation of Korean spices and shows a different style of cuisine by fermenting the cabbage throughout the month.

Introducing new cuisines and foods is always challenging but can be very rewarding. By celebrating AAPI, we can introduce new cultures to our residents and team members and tie the foods from these areas into it. Food is universal and a fantastic conversation starter. By presenting these dishes it gives us a great way to talk more about these countries and why they are important to recognize during this month-long celebration.

We are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate these countries, their contributions, and their foods this month! And we would be even more honored if you would join us. Give us a call to learn more about how you can get a seat at the table this month!

Rock Creek Senior Living in Ankeny, IA offers senior villas, independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Mercy One Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Briarwood Golf, The District Shopping Center, Saylorville Lake Marina, Big Creek State Park, and Ankeny Community Theater.

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