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Old 02-19-2011, 09:43 PM   #1
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Comfort food for friends in need

I don't know where to put it, but here it goes:

What is your "go to" meal for bringing a dish to a friend in need? I have a dear friend who just came home from the hospital with a bizarre disease. I went out yesterday and bought all the ingredients for a big lasagna (she has 5 adult "children" and many grands), and remember doing it a number of years ago and everyone loved it. So when I get up in the A.M., I'll start in on it. I like it because it heats and re-heats and freezes and refrigerates so well. Cut it up and you can nuke an individual serving. Her husband or daughers/sons can throw the entire thing in the oven and have dinner for a dozen.

What do you do for this kind of thing?

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Old 02-19-2011, 10:15 PM   #2
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My mother and grandmother always took an apple cake. Unfortunately, my mother cannot remember the recipe and my grandmother is long gone.

I've taken foil-wrapped sandwich loaves that can be eaten hot or cold. They are easy to make and wait easily, and they are basically a meal in themselves. Here is my recipe for them.

For each sandwich, split a round loaf of sourdough bread and hollow it out a bit. Brush each cut half of the round with a bit of Italian dressing. (You do not want this to be soggy, so go lightly.) On the bottom of the sourdough round, layer thin layers of sliced turkey, spinach, tomatoes, onions, cucumber slices, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with the top of the round and wrap tightly in foil. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (around 177 degrees Celsius) for 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold sliced in wedges.

I also use this for picnics, long trips, etc. The key is to make all of the layers thin.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
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Kath, it sounds a lot like a mufaletta. Great idea, I'll remember it in the future!
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:06 PM   #4
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I love to do a chicken pot pie. Easier to transport than soup. Chicken and noodle casserole, too!
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
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Lasagna
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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I do many different things, but usually some form of casserole. I often do spaghetti and bring a loaf of french bread along.

Kathleen I have a nice little apple cake recipe if you want it. There's a French Apple cake on here too that is killer.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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Beef stew (friends call it my "condolances" beef stew)
Chicken soup
Chocolate cake
baked ham
lasgagne

I usually add homemade rolls/biscuits, tossed salad.

A friend always makes mac and cheese. Another makes meatloaf.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
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It could be a type of mufaletta. Where I grew up, it was usually called a sandwich loaf. I've also heard it called a picnic loaf. I used to make it for car trips. I love it as it is so forgiving.

Alix, I would love the apple cake recipe!
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #9
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Chicken and dressing, layered with gravy, casserole style; tossed salad (2 dressings, general ranch and one extra yummy homemade); EagleBrand milk cherry cheesecake.

I make a lot of different stuff, especially if I know the food preferences of the recipients, but that one is my fall back.

An amazing woman I know has her whole "condolences" meal in her pantry at all times; when she makes it up for someone, she replaces the ingredients.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:17 PM   #10
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Ham - can be used for sandwiches later, mac/cheese, and lots of chocolate.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:53 AM   #11
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Oh, a ham is a great idea. Will put it in my little gray cells for future reference.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:30 AM   #12
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My Mom always has cooked a ham. I usually smoke brisket or pulled pork and buy bread, paper plates, napkins, etc.

Lasagna is a great idea.

BTW, great thread, Claire!
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:40 AM   #13
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Those of you who know me have figured out that I always seem to have a story. Well here is one. I love all of the ideas here. When I was one of those "in need" friends, I was so pleased to see all of the meals people came up with. One of my children (back in 1995) was on chemotherapy for cancer for a year. The first month after his dx, the Cub Scout troop that he belonged to organized a meal drop-off. They all signed up and made sure to bring something different every night for a month! (actually it was more like six weeks). The leftovers in the freezer lasted even longer! Anyway...my favorites were lasagna (or anything Italian), ham, crockpot dinners, and chicken. Being as the child going through the chemo was an 8 year old, one man called and asked for our order for take out pizza. Then he asked what my son wanted to drink, have for desert, etc. After the phone call he went and collected the take-out goodies and brought them along with a gift and balloons to the house and presented them to our son. Even though it was not "home made," his thoughtfullness will never be forgotten. And to top it off, it was a new family to the troop, and didn't know us yet. I guess my point in telling you this is that the fact that you are putting so much thought into this is beautiful, and people who receive your gifts are blessed indeed. So nice to be with such thoughtful people.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #14
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chopper, what a great story! I'm really enjoying this thread too. I'm getting lots of good ideas for the next time I need to share a meal.

I'm quite interested in the layers of chicken and dressing. Can you describe this a little better please?
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:18 PM   #15
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I grew where food was one of the things you did to comfort those who had suffered a loss/set back. When a friend delivered a preemie baby, she said that one of the best things was the meals that were dropped off. I take a meal to friends who've had babies, suffered a loss, have s/one in the hospital, have lost a job. Food is always good. We organized a "meals on wheels" for a friend whose husband underwent a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, he passed away, but she appreciated the food. I know I've appreciated a meal when I've been going through a rough patch.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:11 PM   #16
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Good story, Chopper. Hope your child is doing well.

I have a funny story. An older friend of mine (in her 70s at the time) was going in for hip replacement, and I'd told her I'd bring some food. Well, my own mother got very sick and I left the state for a month or so. I completely forgot about this friend's surgery. When Mom recovered and I got home, I called her to apologize. Asked if there was anything I could do.

Are you ready for this? Her answer was to plant flowers on her departed husband's grave. SO .... for missing my turn at making her dinner, I now have taken her to the cemetary every year since (easily 6 years now) and planted a little garden (under her supervision, of course) for poor, dearly departed George. Who, I might add, I never met.

The meal would have been easier! Now mutual friends query me in a very puzzled tone, "Why to you take care of George's grave? You never met him, did you?
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #17
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Great story Claire! You truly are the definition of friendship! I am thinking a lasagna would have been easier.

I guess I should have mentioned that my dear son is a cancer survivor. He will be 25 years old this fall, and I thank God for his life on a regular basis. It was a long year, and I took many meals to other families during that year who lost their children. We are truly blessed in our family. Even though we still call 1995 the year from h***, we have some good memories that year, and a wonderful young man to show for it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:48 PM   #18
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Glad to hear your son is doing so well! And, yes, a lasagna would have one heck of a sight easier than the grave! (I .like to cook, don't like to garden!). A few years ago my husband started to come with me because when I'd go by myself, this friend would add on other gardening chores. With hubby she's not as bold as to ask for more favors! So now it is sort of a community joke.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:11 PM   #19
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I like to take "Forgotten Chicken" to friends at times of need. It is an easy chicken and rice dish that is put in the oven and forgotten for 2 hours. If they aren't sure when they will eat it, I take it over for them to stick into the oven at the appropriate time. If it is someone who usually cooks a lot, and is going through a tough time, they may feel needed if they have the option to put it in the oven without the fuss of preparing it first.
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