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Old 05-25-2009, 08:37 AM   #1
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Foods to Help Friends in Need

Something was written recently about cooking dishes for the bereaved. I want to mention that it is one thing I do for many friends. So many do not like to cook at all., and after a serious surgery and subsequent treatment, or after childbirth, yes, deserts are nice, but an entire meal ready to go, is nice. So when a friend or acquaintance is ill, I sent a casserole of some sort that can be also thrown in the freezer to be re-heated at a future date. For my sisters when they were coming home from childbirth, I'd make some home-made tomato sauces, some pasta, a bag of ready-to-go greens and bottle of good quality salad dressing. Oh, yes, some decent quality grated cheese. When my neighbor was having her most recent child I made her a tourtiere. This was my husband's idea. WHo would like tourtiere. They loved it. Think of things like this, not just when someone you know has lost someone they love, but seriously, when they have surgrey, have a baby, etc. And not just sweets, but entire meals that really aren't going to cost you much (for example, one time it was an extra pan of lasagna that I was making anyway). So ... write in about things you cook for those who for whatever, cannot do themselves.


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Old 05-25-2009, 08:51 AM   #2
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Lovely Claire. I do the same. I actually bought a bunch of those disposable tin baking dishes so I could do this and not worry about my casserole dishes coming home. I've found that the smaller dishes (9x6?) work the best. That way if folks aren't too hungry they don't need to worry about waste, or if they have guests over they can just do a bit more. I tend to do lasagnas, package meat sauces and that sort of thing too. The last time I did this was for a friend who was in having her twins. She had 3 kids under 6 at home and one of the twins had to be in ICU for a day or so. I sent them a couple of frozen small lasagnas, a couple of chicken cacciatores and a couple of apple and rhubarb crisps. There were a couple of baguettes and bags of salad in there too.

One thing I have found that most folks really appreciate is a fruit salad. If you do one with mostly melons and pineapple and that sort of thing the fruit doesn't get all mushed.

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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I like to do chicken spaghetti. It is a pretty popular casserole that most people like, and it freezes well too. Finger sandwiches and relish trays are good for an "after the funeral" type of gathering.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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I just got back from two weeks of helping my niece and her husband with their firstborn son. Difficult birth, severely jaundiced baby etc. They loved my baking banana bread for them in the morning. I also made big hot dinners so there would be leftovers my nephew-in-law could take to work with him. Spaghetti and meatballs, breaded chicken with mushroom lemon sauce over egg noodles, chicken/cheese enchiladas, potato soup etc. I also made some snacky, dip things for quick bites as needed. I filled their tummies and the freezer. It felt really good to help out and when I left, all were on their way to health and normalcy. But boy do I miss that baby!
"First we eat, then we do everything else." M.F.K. Fisher
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:11 AM   #5
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Wonderful, Claire, thanks for sharing.

I have been doing this for years through our church and with friends, family and neighbours. Most people who know me here know that I love to cook for others more than anything.

I as well often decide not to wait for any occasion (happy or sad) and will just phone someone up say that I have made a double batch of something and I am bringing it over for their table or freezer. I love the "randomness" of this. I did this recently with my next door neighbor. Her uncle is living with her and has diabetes (among other things that you have at 96). It was my Dad's birthday on Friday and I made him a diabetic chocolate cake. For me, making two is just as easy as one so I sent the other over to Uncle! Both my neighbour and he were surprised and thrilled. It just made my day!
"Variety is not just the spice of life, it is the key to life" - Chef Michael Smith

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Old 05-25-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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I used to do that a lot when I was able to get around better, and still do when I have a chance. My daughter, who passes my house on her way home from work, loves it when I call and say I have her supper ready to pick up.

I often sent soups to friends who were sick...homemade vegetable beef or chicken and noodle were favorites.
Meatloaf and green beans with new potatoes goes over well, as does any kind of meal-in-one casserole. (Texas More, and Sausage and Noodles are my family's favorites.)
When my step-daughter had her first child, she lived way out in the country, so I took her a boneless ham, scalloped potatoes, a mess of green beans and a jello salad.
When someone passes, people seem get so many sweets and meat trays that a salad of some kind is welcome...7-layer salad is usually a hit, as is a good pasta or potato salad. My 7-layer and pasta salads are a meal in themselves.
We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #7
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Chicken Pot Pie. Perhaps it's my "mom mentality" but you've got your chicken and veggies all in one! For me, it's also a comfort food :)
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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If you go to your local party-supply store, you can get aluminum or microwavable plastic trays and "clam-shell" containers with three compartments. Recently, a friend battled cancer and each meal I cooked for myself and wife, I put a portion aside for the friend.

Having disposables helps when they don't have to do dishes either.

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Old 05-25-2009, 03:37 PM   #9
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always have a pan of sliced brisket or pulled pork in freezer for that very purpose--deliver with a bunch of bread/buns and pan of cole slaw--
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:44 PM   #10
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my son does all the cooking at his house. about two times a month i made something for him and family for dinner. he only lives five min. away so stops on way home from work. i get to try new dishes and he gets a night off from cooking. i live alone and could not eat all of large quantiles of food.. just take a serving or two from what i made and send it on.

"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
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