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Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping If you plan out your meals, grocery shopping bills can be sliced and diced!

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Old 04-04-2002, 05:13 AM
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Question Sharing Meals

When you are asked to supply a meal for a family (due to a new baby, a death, an illness, or some other need) what are some good meals to share? Could you offer some ideas?

And what about transporting those meals? Do you buy inexpensive, single-use aluminum pans? Inexpensive metal or glass bakeware? Or do you use your own pan and stop by at a later date to retrieve it?

And finally, how much of a meal do you provide? Main course only? Side dishes? All-in-one meals? Desserts?

Please help me out with this!

Kelly H.
Kelly H.
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Old 04-04-2002, 07:51 AM
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When my Grandma died, friends of my parents left a cooler on the back porch filled with a meal for us. A frozen lazagna, a bag of salad, buns (8), some cold cuts and cheeses to make up those 8 buns. She also put in some sparkling grape juice, paper plates and napkins! I thought this was a lot, but so appreciated. Mom didn't have to cook an entire dinner or lunch the one day! We are very close to her, so she probably did more than what most would do. Another lady brought two loaves of banana bread and another brought over a potato salad that we ate with another casserole another girl sent over. We ended up with a lot, and in combination with what my aunts received from their friends, there was plenty for the week of guests! A lady included a note that her casserole (a delicious chicken tettrazine thing) was freezable which was good because we ended up with so much! And it was very appreciated the following week when we had the busy day of going through the appartment and belongings of Grandma.

I would try to find out if they're expecting guests and take it from there. I think in the future if I have to send something I would make sure if it's a salad hat it would work as a main meal (macaroni) with buns, or a casserole that could be frozen, or a jar of my home made sauce and a package of pasta that could be made at their convenience. If you think the main meals are covered, go for muffins, breads and such for breakfast on the run. Our neighbour sent over a huge veggie tray when we came home with the baby which was great! We ate some for the next couple of days, the rest went into a stir fry! It's times like these you know who your friends are!! Even if time doesn't allow to make a casserole, grab a frozen lazagna, a roasted chicken, some cold cuts to make sandwhiches, a ham......hope this helps!!
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Old 04-04-2002, 11:27 AM
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my favorite thing to take is some kind of a pasta dish - most of them with red sauce can be frozen - and a loaf of homemade bread. Seems that homemade bread is always a "comfort food"

I also like the idea of giving a basket full of "plastics" plates, utensils, cups and napkins. That's one thing that's greatly appreciated and most people don't think about it, plus if you have a bunch of company it always gets used.
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Old 04-04-2002, 06:08 PM
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When my sister died the first person who showed up at my parents house was a co-worker of my mother's (she had also lost an adult child a few years earlier). She brought paper products - paper plates, napkins, cups, Kleenex tissue and TOILET PAPER! She was right that it is something you run low on when you have a lot of people coming over and are in a crisis.

Another friend of my parents found out that my aunt and uncle would be arriving in the middle of the night from a LONG drive from Canada. They went to the local hotel (the ONLY hotel in town) and left a basket with fruit, cookies, and bottled water at the front desk for them.

I think anything is appreciated in a time of crisis. I would leave my own dishes with close friends/family and buy the aluminum ones for people who I'm not comfortable asking for them back. It is also overwhelming to keep track of peoples things at times like these. Also remember that everyone shows up right after, but grief continues for a long time. Doing something later is also nice.

For new babies I would make something that could be frozen.
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Old 04-05-2002, 05:15 AM
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I like too make one pot dishes, makes it easier too transport. I find when you are taking meals too someone, they tend too get alot of pasta and tomato based dishes. So I try too do something different. I have made chicken in crockpot with veggies and potatoes. And a few weeks ago I made a friend a New England boiled dinner. It was around St.Paddys day so corned beef was on sale. And sent along a loaf of homemade bread. They really enjoyed it. Sometimes I include a bag of lettuce, sometimes not. And I usually include a small dessert. It depends on who it is and the circumstances, too weather or not I use my own dishew or disposables. But I try not too send anything, I would be very upset if I didn't get back.
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Old 04-07-2002, 07:10 PM
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Sort of depends on the situation

I really like to coordinate with someone else who is probably going to take food and try to make something that side dishes brought in could make a meal out of. For instance if I make the roast and potatoes and gravy, my friend would make a salad and desert and then anything else would go with it and they'd have a nice, hot meal. I try to buy a few corningware dishes at the garage sales during the summer and I naturally put my name on them when I take a dish but if I don't get it back I've spent about the same as I would have for an aluminum pan and I didn't add to the landfill. (The person who ends up with it can use it too)
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Old 04-07-2002, 07:20 PM
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sharing meal

I usually opt for a casserole. They transport easily, freeze well. I try to use a disposable aluminum dish. That way I don't hve to feel like I'm intruding when I try to make arrangements to pick up a pan.

Lasagna is one of the old stand bys. I try to perk it upa bit by adding sun dried tomatoes, a little feta cheese and olives. I always make sure I attach the baking instructions to the pan.

Another of my favorites to take is a dish called Vesuvio Skillet Chicken. It's a dish with skinless chicken, browned with roasted garlic to squeeze onto the chicken, Rice-a-Roni and diced tomatoes. It's pretty quick and very tasty.

I always like to include everything from salad, main dish, vegies, and bread. I also like to put some extra effort into making a special desert. Something I've made from scratch.

I also always like to make enough to feed the immediate family two meals. That way they'll have enough incase they have guests, or they can freeze the leftovers for another meal.

I think bringing someone a meal is one of the most thougthful and caring acts. I rmember when I had my children. Both times my church "family" made sure meals were provided for us for a week. It was such a blessing to be cared for and not have to worry about having to cook with a new baby in the house.
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:49 AM
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When my mother-in-law died we received many different types of food, some were spaghetti, chili, casseroles (both meat and veggies), soups, salads, desserts. We even received a luncheon meat tray for lunches. What our church does is call several women and each women get a different day, different meal time, different item (example I would get thurs. lunch meat and I would take over soe type of meat that would be good for lunch). I would not go out and buy anything to carry the meal over in. Just use what you have but make sure your name is written on the item ( lid also) so that it makes for easy return. You could have one person pick up all the empty catainers and deliver them back to the owners. feel free to contact me if you need more help
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Old 04-08-2002, 05:15 AM
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Food: the Gift of Love

If I am taking food over because of sickness or a new baby, I try to be thoughtful to any food problems. New Moms sometimes have to be careful of spices and chocolate. Sick people often do not want spicy food. We often call ahead to find out if there is any diet restrictions.
I find odd casserole dishes at gragage sales to give food away in or use recycled plastics containers, after some of my dishes did not make it back to me.
One food that is usually welcomed is homemade cinnamon rolls.
When it is a family with little kids, I try to keep the food simple.
When my close friend had her 11th child I took them a whole turkey, deboned along with sidedishes. I transfered everything to her own dishes once I got there. (Her older children were good at doing dishes.)
Now that my own family has increased, I make enough food for us and the other family to cut back on my work.

Mom of 5
Food: It can be the message of love
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Old 04-09-2002, 05:06 AM
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Meals sent in LOVE

Through the church I belong to, we have a group called "Seasoned with Love". This is for births, sickness and for funerals. It is a nice way to let our church family know that we care and love them. We have a coordinator that starts the calling and she asks whether or not you'd like to make a side dish, meat, dessert, etc.

For the most part, I usually make a side dish. I always try to double what I would normally make for my family of four. As for dishes, if I have disposable, I use them, if not I make my dish as usual and after my dish cools down, I stick an address label on the side of the dish. (under the handle) This usually holds up under the reheating process and dishwashing, long enough for me to find my dish.

I think any and all help is appreciated and I was so glad to see that someone didn't forget to remind us that kleenex and toilet paper is always welcomed. There's nothing more embarassing to have company and no toilet paper !!!

Hope this helps!
"I can get through life, because I pray!"
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