Monday, August 22, 2011

Another Take on Comfort Food

Sometimes there's nothing you can do but cook.

I've had the displeasure of seeing 2 young moms in our school community recieve cancer diagnoses in the last 18 months.  If you're like me, when someone you know is hurting, you want to help, but lots of times, there's not much you can do.

If you can cook, you can take away some of the stress of getting the family fed and bring a meal or two. In fact, even if you can't cook, you can pick up a meal at a restaurant or a bag of groceries, or even a gift card for a local restaurant.

I think it comes naturally to some - the church and school communities I grew up in always loved with food - church potlucks, school spaghetti dinners, and of course lots of meals for people who needed them.  But not everyone has done this before, so it might be overwhelming.  As in my "feeding a crowd" blurb, there are a few things to keep in mind.  
  • Don't try to impress - don't try new recipes.  Find out if you're cooking for kids.
  • Season carefully - I tend to err on the light side.  Sometimes spicy foods can be painful.
  • Make sure the meals are easy to prepare, and use disposable pans and containers wherever.
  • Make sure you have enough food! 
  • Find out of there are allergies or other needs, or foods they really don't like. 
There are lots of great websites to help get meals oranized - no one wants to get 12 pans of tuna casserole (personally, I don't even want ONE pan of it, but that's just me).  The two I've had experience with are Take Them a Meal and Caring Meals.  They have space for delivery instructions, food notes, send email reminders and all sorts of good things.  It's good to have one person organize things, and then share the link for people to help. 

Here's a good article on bringing meals I came across recently with some good ideas: New Spin on Sympathy Meals.  I'm bringing shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches, cole slaw, hash brown potato casserole and a pan of brownies tonight, and I did a taco night kit a few weeks ago.  Please feel free to share what your go-to meal is when you bring food to someone, or share your experience as the recipient of said meals. 

4 comments:

  1. I tried to leave a message yesterday but I don't think it worked. I use mealtrain.com for my meals.

    Someone once brought us cookies on a pretty plate and said we could keep the plate. She said she buys dishes at goodwill and garage sales and then let's the people keep them. I thought that was a good idea;especially since foil can get expensive.

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  2. That's a cool idea! I've bought plates on clearance for Christmas for cookies and such, but everyday occasions are awesome, too. Thanks!

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  3. Jaime told me about your blog. :-)

    I love bringing meals to others, because I know how blessed I have been when others have brought meals to me after my babies were born. That's another way I've gotten new recipes our family likes, is by asking the person afterwards for the recipe.

    Last week brought a huge batch of chili in an ice cream pail for a large family, along with a couple garlic breads and fruit and jello. I've also done lasagna, or some other type of pasta and sauce. Shredded chicken with buns for sandwiches is a good one. I usually add a salad or veggie, bread, and sometimes a dessert (cookies, brownies, etc).

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  4. Same here - new meals for families with new babies are awesome. I remember being so thankful that I didn't have to think about it!

    We also just had someone who requested some help with ready to go lunch items for the school-age kids, since she was finding it tough to get to the store with a new baby and the other kiddos. Someone organized a basket of items for the fam.

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