The question came up a while back, if we could share some recipes or ideas for bringing meals to others. Years ago, in my home church, I started a group called "Caring through Sharing", that basically meant that I co-ordinated the meals when a situation came about that someone in our church family or community was in need of meals. Either recovering from having a baby, surgery or illness, or when there was a death or crisis.
Recently I heard someone say.....please don't bring Chili or Lasagna, we have enough of that to eat for 6 months. As delicious as those meals are and very convenient to bring, there are more ideas available and we would just like to share a few with you.
We would love to hear anything that you have experienced in either giving or receiving meals that you would like to share with us that you found worked out well. Leave a comment, we would love to learn more.
When I had my children I was the happy recipient of some wonderful meals, and I remember them fondly still. It is a good feeling to be genuinely cared for by others, and have enjoyed paying it forward. It really is a little effort that goes a long way.
- First off, if the people receiving the meal are part of a larger community, then it is easier if one person is in charge of organizing meals. Then the one receiving the meal is not answering the same questions over and over again, and there are times that it is important to not overwhelm people with kindness. They may really need their space for either recovery from having a baby an illness or in a crisis situation, so having one contact person makes things easier on everyone.
- Always asks about likes, strong dislikes, allergies or food intolerance.
- If you make a meal with a sauce, always make at least 1 1/2 or double the recipe for the sauce, because it tends to be absorbed by the rice or pasta and when heating it up either later when it has been frozen or even a day or so after receiving it can be dry.
- Make sure that you bring meals in containers that you don't need back, that they can either recycle or reuse as they pay it forward for someone else some time. A good idea is to use foil containers for the hot dishes, zipped plastic bags for salads and veggies.
- Label everything with a date,what it is, ingredient list if needed and for the main dishes add instructions if you bring it frozen how to reheat and for how long.
- Keep in mind who you are bringing meals too. Often it is helpful if you are bringing meals to a family with school aged children, that you include snacks like muffins, cookies, or homemade granola bars, pizza buns, or meat buns.......all the recipes you can find on our blog. Older adults appreciate lighter meals, like soup, buns, salads, or smaller casseroles.
- Include a card of encouragement. It is so good to know that people actually do care.
- Also, I do want to share with you one very important fact. The meals do not have to always be homemade. If you have a time restraint or are not comfortable in cooking something for someone else, there are wonderful meals that can be purchased either at a super market or restaurant. The whole purpose of sharing a meal is to bless someone else.
- If the person is able to go out, think about inviting them over. It might be just the thing they need to help in their recovery. I have a friend that had a serious eye surgery. She felt well, just was not able to work in the kitchen, and just loved being invited out, and a little goodie bag with left overs was sent home along with her was always appreciated.
- One of our commenters, Linda made a great suggestion. Have a meal with someone who is a shut in and lonely. That is such a meaningful suggestion and would mean so much to someone who eats alone. Everything tastes better shared in good company!
- Be creative, do as you feel led, and remember what you do for others, you really do for HIM....
Sweet 'n sour Farmer Sausage and Rice and Lemon Basil Carrots
- 1- double link farmer sausage, or smoked sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- salt and pepper to taste ( I don't add salt since the sausage is salty enough)
- Cut the sausage into coins, and brown in a bit of oil along with the onion.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
- Lower the temperature to a simmer for a half hour.
- Serve with Rice or mashed potatoes.
Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and Ceasar Salad
You get the idea, right.