We are so excited to present the 3rd Annual Summit’s Secret Recipes Cookbook - a project inspired and launched by the Power Lunch Club. This year, the focus was a sweet one – Desserts! In the pages of this book, you will find dessert recipe favorites from members of our community. We hope that, once again, sharing these recipes will prove to be a wonderful and sweet way for us to connect during this upcoming holiday season!Deborah Dolan, Summit School at Nyack Principal
Some stories behind the recipes…
Judy Harrington, Staff
“My Lithuanian gramma loved fall and loved to bake. We still observe the many Lithuanian traditions she handed down to us and these make the holidays even more special!”
Jon Neiderman, Staff
“Lemon Squares or Bars as they are popularly called were a staple in my house growing up. My mother was an amazing baker and would make these for family and company who would be coming over. To this day, making these and eating them reminds me of my childhood. I hope you all can enjoy this dessert as much as I do. In fact, writing this is making me want to make them right now.”
Ronnie Himmelfarb, Staff
”My grandma’s all time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. She only made them on Christmas Eve and always insisted we leave one out for Santa. Now my mom has taken over the tradition and bakes these cookies at least once a month to bring over to my Grandmas”.
Elise Lehrman, Staff
“When one of my daughters was in 7th grade she had this treat at a friend’s house and loved it so much she asked for the recipe. She has been making it ever since (she is 35 now!). The original recipe called for oil but she substituted it with applesauce! She also often substitutes whole wheat flour! It’s my family’s favorite!”
Maryanne Lombardo, Staff
“This is a great recipe because it requires so few ingredients and is easy to make and even easier to serve and share! My sons have loved this toffee since they were little and I always still make them – and other family and friends who love it – a tin of toffee to take home when they visit.”
Nysaiah Summers, Student
“My grandma makes this cake and it is so good. I like how the pineapple bits get a little caramelized”
Leslie Tam, Staff
“A fond childhood memory was heading down to Little Italy during the Feast of San Gennaro. My mom would get us Zeppoles loaded with powdered sugar in brown paper bags. We would shake up the bags and powdered sugar would get all over our clothes and we would laugh through sugar rimmed smiles.”
Ariana Keyes, Staff
“As a cultural Puerto Rican tradition, my grandmother would make this sweet and simple dessert every holiday season. Tembleque is one of Puerto Rico’s many popular desserts. This was definitely a favorite for me growing up.”
Tara Langstein, Staff
“This is an easy dessert to make in advance and can remain in the freezer until you need it. This is a favorite in my house during the holidays.”
Our relationship with Meals on Wheels of Rockland County and the Soup Angels in Nyack goes back many years. By volunteering to serve and deliver meals, we have been able to create opportunities for students to develop valuable life skills by doing good for others. Below you can read our interviews with Meals on Wheels Directors, Sharon Martini and Maureen Nicolich, and Soup Angels co-founder, Katherine Rife, to learn more about what makes them special.
Q: If you were waiting in line at Rockland Bakery and you overheard someone talking about Meals on Wheels, what would you expect to hear?
MOW: “We were having such a hard time getting to my mom’s house every day to make sure she had fresh meals to eat. Then we started her on Meals on Wheels. The food they bring is so fresh and Mom loves how they taste! The meals are nutritious and the doctor says Mom’s health is already improving. She has incredible volunteers who check in with her when they bring her food and they make her feel really special. The best part is I know if they ever think something is off or if she doesn’t come to the door, Meals on Wheels is going to call me right away. It’s been such an incredible help to the whole family!”
Q: What could be something they may not say, but you would want them to know?
MOW: They might not know about all of the extra things that Meals on Wheels is doing (or could do) for their loved one. Volunteers don’t just bring food and comfort, they bring special add-ons like Caring Cards and Crafts (for holidays or just because!), Blizzard Boxes (so that there is a supply of shelf stable food in the house in case of emergency), Miles of Smiles bags (to provide supplies that promote dental health) and can even bring a supplement of food for the pets in the house.
Q: Why does Meals on Wheels exist?
MOW: Everything for Meals on Wheels comes down to our mission to enhance the wellness of Rockland’s older adults and their families by providing services that support their safety, independence and health. Every program or action is planned and executed with our mission as the guiding force. The COVID-19 pandemic has truly shown how incredibly vital our services are to seniors in the community.
Q: Who are the Soup Angels?
SA: Soup Angels is a non-sectarian, non-discriminatory organization of like-minded volunteers currently offering “To Go” nutritious, freshly-prepared hot meals and a large food pantry to anyone in our area in need of a meal, no questions asked.
Q: What inspired the creation of the Soup Angels?
SA: Three women who all lived in Nyack and who were volunteers at Sunday Supper soup kitchen at Living Christ Church in Nyack saw the need for more food assistance in Nyack. One of the women, Kathleen, had been homeless herself and wanted to create a place where people who were hungry could have a delicious home-cooked meal served with respect. Kathleen said that she and others “ want to be treated with dignity, just like everyone else wants”. We decided that we would serve meals to our “guests” (as they are called) at tables with cloth tablecloths set with silverware, china, flowers, candles and music. We were three women who wanted to help. Kathleen was also a chef, Katie was a social worker, and I was a teacher. You don’t have to be skilled in a particular field, you just need to care about something a great deal.
Q: Volunteering is a big part of any child’s early experience. Why do you think it’s important?
SA: It’s ok that when you volunteer to do something that appeals to you that it not only helps the other person, animal or cause that you believe in, but it also makes you feel good. My father took me to help drop off meals for a family new to Canada (where I lived) and I saw how much our gift meant to them and also realized that there were many people who didn’t have enough to eat. Then my mother had me help make sandwiches for homeless people, and I saw that I could, with my own hands, help in a very direct way. WHAT you do to volunteer is up to you, but remember that it will feel good when you help.
MOW: Volunteering makes a big impact in the community and for the people we serve, but most importantly, it makes an impact on those who are doing good deeds. When a teenager volunteers, they may not initially understand the effect they have on another person’s life and may only be fulfilling an obligation of some kind. However, once they spend time delivering a route or packaging meals or talking with a senior over the phone, they start to see first-hand the impact they have. Helping another human being just makes us feel good and there is so much need around us. It is important to understand that we are all connected and it doesn’t take much effort to make someone else’s day a whole lot better.
There is something special about a delivery from our young people. Our clients find something truly special in getting those moments with the students, especially from a small group. It brings an entirely different energy to that visit and our clients consistently give us great feedback on how much they love these deliveries! There is a truly special bond that develops when you deliver to the same clients week after week.Meals on Wheels of Rockland County