When you enter the doors at Hospice Georgian Triangle’s Campbell House the first thing you will see – and smell – are the delicious recipes being cooked up by the hospice palliative care home’s volunteer Kitchen Angels.

In fact, the house is alive with their banter and the clanging of pots and pans as they prepare foods not just for patients in the home, but for visiting members of their families and their friends.

“They come in and they bring such laughter and wisdom,” says the executive director of Hospice Georgian Triangle, Trish Rawn. “They are present as much as anyone in listening to people. ‘Do you want a cup of coffee, a cookie?’” they ask patients or their visitors,” Rawn says. “Just having a cup of coffee with someone else is a source of comfort in itself,” she explains.

“It’s like that caring, nurturing feeling that your mum would give you,” says Helen Russell, the Food Services and Volunteer Lead at Hospice Georgian Triangle. “It’s like a big hug. They will do anything for anybody.”

These women, numbering 44 to 55 each week, are no slackers. Depending on how many visitors are at the 10-fully furnished bedroom suites at Campbell House, “there could be 20 to 40 people here at lunchtime,” says Russell. “There is always homemade soup and freshly baked treats,” she says. “Today it was apple crisp.”

Other days the angels cook up chicken pot pie, meatloaf, lasagna, and sandwiches. If someone doesn’t feel hungry, the meals are there for when they do, even if it is 2 a.m. in the morning.

And each day the working teams connect with the clinical team to find out the needs of those who are there for hospice palliative care, as well as patients who are there for just a short palliative respite stay to give their families a break from caregiving.

When someone leaves the home, the Kitchen Angels are there to honour them and their families. “When someone dies, we put butterflies around the door,” explains Rawn. And when they leave, we offer music or a reading and everyone forms an honour guard. “We all walk outside with the family.”

Sometimes the biggest connection the families have is with the Kitchen Angels who have been there for them the entire stay. “They have face-to-face communication with the families,” says Russell. “Their heart strings are really pulled.”

Why do they volunteer? Some of them have had family members who spent their last days at Campbell House, and they want to give back. Others are motivated by the sense of purpose they get from volunteering, as well as the social interaction they have with other volunteers, staff and, of course, patients.

“We have a chat and maybe a laugh or two, and for a short time our friends feel a little lighter in spirit, refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the day,” says volunteer Patty Barber of the interactions she has with patients.

But it is not just what comfort and joy they can give to patients at Campbell House that motivates them. Wendy Black-Mayer says, “It’s a privilege to be here and to be able to make someone’s day better.”

Martha Lawrence and Linda Atkins agree. “We have both met and worked with wonderful people. Thank you for the opportunity.”

Sharon McFarlane and Wendy Black-Mayer: Old Fashioned Butter Tart Slice


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8-inch square pan.
  2. Mix ingredients for base and press into pan. Bake for 12-15 min. until lightly browned.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until fluffy.
  4. Add sugar, and flour.
  5. Stir in butter, corn syrup, maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla, salt.
  6. Pour over the hot base.
  7. Put pan back in the oven and bake or another 30 – 35 min. until the top is golden brown and set.
  8. Cool and cut into rectangles.

Recipe submitted by Sharon McFarlane.

Joyce Smith and Joan Baines: Lobster Thermidor in Puff Pastry Shells

Both Joyce and Joan’s moms loved to prepare this Lobster Thermidor from The Joy of Cooking. Now the Kitchen Angels are making it for patients and friends and family in Campbell House.

Puff Pastry Shells:

Our Moms use to buy these from the bakery, but you can also make them with frozen puff pastry!

You Will Need:

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4 sheets of puff pastry – partial frozen

Shell Assembly

  1. Beat eggs and water together in a small bowl. The puff pastry should be cold
  2. Separate the puff pastry into four sheets. The more frozen the better
  3. Brush each sheet with your egg wash.
  4. Cut 2 rounds from each sheet of puff pastry using a 3-inch round cutter, forming 8 circles.
  5. Use a 2 1⁄2 inch round cutter to cut through 4 of the rounds, do not separate the pieces.
  6. Place entire cut rounds (with the cut piece too) on top of an un-cut round. You will have four shells. Brush each with egg mixture.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven until puffed and golden around 20 mins.
  8. Once cooked, let cool in an open-door oven for about an hour. Now they are ready to use. Remove the top with a small, serrated knife. Fill the shells and put the top back on, or on the side.

Lobster Thermidor Filling:

Make ahead of time so the favours blend!

You Will Need:

  • 1 lb lobster
  • 1 Tbsp minced red pepper
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1⁄2 cup light cream
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp sherry
  • 1⁄2 lb of mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Filling & Finishing

  1. If you are using frozen lobster, drain and rinse the brine off / if using live lobsters – cook, cool, remove from shell and chop into bite-size pieces.
  2. Melt butter. Sauté mushrooms and red pepper.
  3. Add flour to make a paste, add cream, Worcester, mustard and stir until blended.
  4. Add lobster pieces.
  5. Cook until thick.
  6. Add sherry.
  7. Let cool.

When Puff Pastries are ready, reheat Lobster Thermidor and pour into shells. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Put pastry top on and serve.
Lovely with a green side salad.

Linda Atkins and Martha Lawrence: Lemon Squares

These two Kitchen Angels love this recipe from Linda’s mom!

You Will Need:

  • 1 greased 8-inch by 8-inch pan.
  • 1 and 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Putting it All Together

  1. Incorporate all the above ingredients and make crumbs. Save some for the topping.
  2. Beat 2 egg whites with 1/4 cup white sugar to stiff the peaks
  3. Assemble: Pat most of the crumbs firmly into the greased pan.
  4. Layer with previously prepared lemon pudding/pie filling or lemon curd.
  5. Top with meringue and the remaining crumbs.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Patty Barber and JoAnne Wright: Scandinavian Smoked Salmon and Fresh Dill Strata

Patty and JoAnne love this recipe based on a recipe from the LCBO magazine, Food & Drink.

You Will Need:

  • 7 slices white sandwich bread
  • 7 oz (210G) sliced smoked salmon
  • Half a small red onion
  • 1 cup (250ml) coarsely chopped fresh dill sprigs
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) drained capers
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cups (750ml) grated Havarti cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp (5ml) Dijon mustard
  • Half tsp (2ml) salt
  • 2 cups (500ml) homogenized milk

Putting it All Together

  1. Butter a baking dish that will hold 8 cups.
  2. Slice crusts from the bread and discard.
  3. Cut each bread slice into 4 pieces.
  4. Loosely cover the bottom of the dish and press down firmly.
  5. Top with half the salmon slices.
  6. Very thinly slice the onion and separate the rings and scatter half over the salmon.
  7. Place the other half in a bag to use for garnish, seal and refrigerate.
  8. Coarsely chop enough dill sprigs to measure half a cup. Scatter over onions along with 2 tablespoons of capers.
  9. Finely grate the peel from half the lemon over the top. Evenly sprinkle with 1.5 cups grated Havarti.
  10. Top with the remaining bread and firmly press down on the bread. Lay the remaining salmon over the bread and sprinkle with the remaining 1.5 cups of cheese.
  11. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with Dijon and salt until Dijon is dissolved. Whisk in milk. Slowly pour over the entire strata.
  12. Stretch a piece of clear wrap over the surface of the strata, then gently press onto the surface so all the ingredients are moistened. Refrigerate overnight.
  13. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F (180c). Remove clear wrap from strata and place cold strata in the centre of the oven.
  14. Bake, uncovered, until puffed and golden and the centre of the strata seems set when the dish is jiggled, from 45-50 minutes approximately.
  15. Let strata sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  16. Meanwhile, prepare a farnish by coarsely chopping enough fresh dill sprigs to measure about half a cup. Use a zester to remove the peel left on the lemon. Then scatter strata with the dill, the sliced onions that were stored in the fridge, lemon zest and finally about 1 tbsp of capers. For ease in serving, run a thin knife between the dish and the warm strata before cutting.

Tastes great with a crisp cucumber salad.

Hospice Georgian Triangle provides compassionate care in the home and at Campbell House for individuals and families dealing with life-limiting illness living in the communities of Collingwood, Clearview Township, The Town of Blue Mountains, and Wasaga Beach. These programs and services come at no cost to the user.

Hospice Georgian Triangle Foundation needs donations from the southern Georgian Bay community to fund more than 50 per cent of hospice palliative care and to provide the level of programming, especially grief and bereavement counselling, child support groups and pain and symptom management programs. For more information visit www.hgtfoundation.com or call 705-444-2555 or participate in the spring Hike & Bike on May 29, 2022www.hospicegeorgiantriangle.com/hikebike2022