Baking Up Some Memories

November 2022

Four generations of family means four generations of traditions, and at Hospice we are always proud to honour those traditions.

Roz Renaud, a patient at our Hospice has always baked her special carrot cake for her daughter Sandra’s birthday. “It’s my favourite, I have asked for it every year!” says Sandra.

This year, with Mom in our Hospice, Sandra realized that she may have enjoyed Mom’s signature carrot cake for the last time, without even knowing it.

But, our Hospice team wasn’t about to let that happen, if they could help. They were able to pull some strings and arrange for a very special day for Roz, Sandra, her daughter Sarah-Jane and her granddaughter Riley.

The four generations of Renaud ladies brought all the ingredients and Hospice staff opened up our lower-level apartment in the Windsor Residence for them. The apartment has a full kitchen and all the equipment needed for this baking project.

At the start of this special day, each family member had their role. Sandra and Sarah-Jane were going to lead the baking, and brought everything in carefully pre-measured bags and containers. Riley, who’s seven, was the official “runner” making sure that everyone added all the ingredients in the proper order. Roz, was brought down in her wheelchair to supervise… but all the girls roped her into helping out too!

“We aren’t bakers,” confessed Sandra, “So this could go badly! My Mom has always been the baker in the family, we just get to enjoy the end products!” They were working from Roz’s original copy of the recipe, which showed the wear and tear of many, many years in her kitchen. “I first made this cake 67 years ago for my husband the first year we were married,” says Roz. “He loved it, and I’ve been making it ever since. And Sandra requested it every year as her birthday cake.”

Roz was recruited to run the mixer once all the ingredients were in the bowl, and it was easy to see that she knew her way around a cake. All the girls kept checking with her to make sure the batter “looked right.” Once the cake was in the oven, it was time to just hang out and visit with each other as the smell of carrot cake filled the apartment. The cake turned out perfectly, and was carefully covered with cream cheese icing for the celebration after dinner.

The measure of the experience wasn’t just in the ingredients in the cake, it was in the laughter, the good-natured teasing and the “oops” moments when they realized they’d forgotten to add something to the batter. And, it was in the smile you could see on Roz’s face as she watched her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter working together on her signature carrot cake.

Four generations coming together, countless smiles, and new memories made. That’s the Hospice Way!