Dining Staff Goes All Out for Thanksgiving

John SniffenLa Hacienda

Guadalupe River at La Hacienda Treatment Center

Photo Caption: Our Guadalupe River frontage is dressed for the season.

Most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with a large meal with family. People in treatment—and those assisting them—do not have the day off, but they can enjoy a traditional holiday buffet.

The La Hacienda Nutritional Services Department will lay out a Thanksgiving spread for about 250 persons, including patients, staff, and their guests.

This year’s menu includes roasted turkeys served with giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, and cornbread dressing, baked ham with pineapple cherry sauce, and baked salmon served on a bed of Boursin cheese creamed spinach with sundried tomatoes.

Sides will include fresh candied yams, homemade mashed potatoes, and a variety of vegetables. Salads will include tossed greens; cranberry salad with pineapples, mandarin oranges and celery; broccoli slaw; and a roasted vegetable salad with balsamic dressing.

And, of course, there will be dinner rolls and tasty desserts.

Pride in Their Work

Preparing and serving the holiday spread is much work, but it is something the nine-member dining staff enjoys, said Nutritional Services Director Stan Mosel.

“They have a blast. Our cooks take a lot of pride in putting out a delicious meal. This is a time when they can go above and beyond and shine.”

Stan became director in November 2016, and this is his third Thanksgiving at La Hacienda. His previous experience includes eight years as executive chef for the Inn of the Hills in Kerrville, which served about 1,500 people for Thanksgiving during his tenure.

The staff starts preparing the meal the day before the holiday. This year they are cooking four large turkeys, four hams and about 30 pounds of salmon.

It’s “all hands on deck” until everyone is served Thursday. Then the staff will sit down and eat together. Afterward, except for those who will prepare the evening’s dinner, they will go home and have Thanksgiving with their families.

“It’s a pretty full day,” said Stan.