Specialist Food Evenings at Home of Compassion

As a regular event here at our nursing home, residents and guests at the Home of Compassion in Thames Ditton are treated to a specialist gastronomic evening.

Indian/Diwali Evening

One such evening was based on Indian Cuisine:

At the Home of Compassion we decided to celebrate the Hindu festival Diwali, also known as Deepavali.  From the middle of October through to the middle of November, the Hindu’s spend five days honouring Lakshmi the God of Fertility and Prosperity.  This is done by dressing up in your finest clothes, swapping sweets with close friends and family and throwing a good party with fireworks to boot.  Sounded to me like Christmas and Bonfire night all thrown into one big shebang.

Well the residents certainly embraced the ethos of the event and togged up in their finest livery for an Indian feast designed, cooked and served by our Hospitality Manager, Manish.  We congregated in the Bistro, which is a beautiful orangery overlooking our lawns leading down onto the River Thames.  It was a lovely crisp clear evening, and the earlier rain had been polite and left us alone all evening.

Before the table groaned with food, we stepped outside to watch a small but perfectly formed fireworks display that produced many Ohh’s and Ahh’s from the audience.  Fireworks seem to have an endearing appeal whatever your age.

Back inside the warmth we were tempted by a selection of tantalising tasty treats including an amazing paneer butter masala and a delicious dal which our naan breads scooped up hungrily.  Not a crumb of poppadum was spared our attentions and the jeera rice had us chasing down the final grains around our plates.  The dessert, Semiya payesam, appeared to be a Far Eastern version of our traditional rice pudding, being a milky aromatic comfort dish made with vermicelli noodles.  Delicately spiced with green cardamoms, this finale to our meal invited many calls for second helpings.

Over dinner Manish told us the tale of how this festival promotes good over evil and light over dark.   And before you worship Lakshmi, you must pray to Lord Ganesha first.  The order is vitally important.  Lakshmi was a wealthy and powerful woman and her husband Lord Vishnu did not like how this affected her because he thought it made her big headed.  So he devised a plan to inform her that she would be incomplete without the blessing of a child.  Being childless, Lakshmi turned to Goddess Parvati, who was not convinced her child would be looked after properly by Lakshmi.  But Lakskmi assured her that if she could adopt Ganesha, she would ensure him all the happiness his heart would desire and if anyone wanted to pray to her, they had to pray to Ganesha first.  This reinforces the Hindu belief that wealth cannot be obtained without acquiring knowledge and intelligence first.  Wise words indeed.

After our lesson in Hinduism, our residents reflected that quite a few of them had not tasted such far ranging food stuffs before and the general consensus of opinion voted that we do another of these dinners in the near future.

We are already looking forward to our next event we will be holding here at our home. Why not come back to our news area to find out more.

Home of Compassion is dedicated to providing the highest level of residential, nursing and dementia care for up to 71 elderly residents. The luxurious care home is set in delightful surroundings in the heart of Thames Ditton, with beautiful views over the river. For more information about Home of Compassion and Caring Homes visit our website at www.caringhomes.org

Home of Compassion

Home Manager

Avril Jones


58 High Street,
Thames Ditton,

0808 223 5406
View care home

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