Thursday, May 12, 2011
Three Tips for Thursdays: Bringing Someone a Meal
If you have ever received a meal when you were sick, recently had a baby, or were just plain busy, you know how helpful it was, and how loved you felt when you received it. We have Hospitality Groups at our church that provide meals for people during illnesses, and after surgeries, babies, and even sometimes deaths. It's such an amazing system, that I'm not sure what people do when they don't have a church family to take care of them in times of need. I know I am very thankful to be part of such a loving church! (Thanks, Kathy!)
I think it's so important to help people out, and in my current state of life (ie, two small children), there are often many things I would like to do, but simply cannot. What I can do is cook a meal for someone. It may be simple, but that's where I am in life right now. Is there someone in your life whom you could encourage and help out by making them a meal? Here are three tips I have found to be helpful in preparation. Oh, and I didn't want this to be a completely picure-less post, so those adorable babies are my cousin's newborn twins. Not sure how that relates? My Hospitality Group at church provided meals for them right after the babies were born. And, really, I just wanted to show off how gorgeous they are :)
Tip Number One: Check for Allergies or Dislikes
It's a great idea to make sure no one in the family has any food allergies or intolerances. I know I would feel terrible if members of the family could not eat what I made for them. I also like to check for things they just may not like, or ask if something sounds especially good. These are just a few easy ways to make sure the meal is a good fit for them.
Tip Number Two: It doesn't have to be fancy!
The easiest way to prepare a meal for someone is to simply double up on what you are making for your family that night. That way, you're not making two separate dishes, and a big mess in the meantime! In the cooler months, my go-to is soup. I seem to always make a huge pot of it anyway, so it's easy to share. Simply bake some bread (or buy some), throw together a salad, and you are good to go. Not fancy, but super comforting. Another easy dish is yesterday's Sausage & Pepper Baked Ziti. It's healthy, designed to make two casseroles (depending on family size), and can be frozen if necessary. Add some vegetables or fruit to go along with it, and you have a meal. Don't be intimidated or nervous about cooking for someone else--I promise they are just happy not to have to worry about planning and preparing a meal themselves!
Tip Number Three: Use disposable dishes.
This benefits both of you. They don't have dishes to wash and return, and you don't go without dishes until they are returned. I typically like to keep aluminum baking dishes on hand, as well as various sizes of plastic bags. Now, if you don't have any disposable dishes on hand and would like to bring someone a meal, don't let it stop you! It makes things more convenient, but it certainly isn't a must. A few people can verify that I do not always use them myself :) If you are bringing someone soup, my mother-in-law gave me a great idea. Bring it in your pot/tupperware/crockpot, and pour it into one of their dishes once you get there. Then you take your dish home with you right away, and they don't have to worry about it!
This list is by no means all-inclusive, and I'm sure many wiser women out there have great ideas I have missed, but hopefully it prompts you to get cooking for someone else. Maybe even tonight!
Do you have any tips/ideas I missed? Please leave a comment and let me know!