Caesar Salad. Bag it Up. Give it Away.

One of my dear friends just got out of the hospital and I wanted to bring her family a meal. BUT … I did not have time to cook anything to fit the window of time for sending it home with her.

Grocery stores make it SO convenient nowadays, and I’ll share with you what I took my friend, Pam.

Menu
Chicken Caesar Salad
Whole Wheat Bread
Chocolate Cake

What to Buy
Whole cooked chicken
Bag of romaine lettuce
Container of shredded Parmesan cheese
Bag of croutons

What I had at home
Dressing (which I forgot to bring her!)
Bread in the freezer
Cake in the freezer
Tomatoes from the garden

I think we shy away from helping others out sometimes because we get caught up in the details of an entire meal. People just want to be thought of, to be taken care of a little. And sometimes we just need fresh ideas for ways to reach out.

I have a section on this in my book, The Reluctant Entertainer, where I talk about deeper connections and list great tips on taking meals to others.

Again, it starts with a thought, and then we act on it.

A year ago, I had many friends bring me meals when I had foot surgery. Once you are the recipient, you definitely understand and have a deeper desire to help others out yourself.

Oh, and just bag it up. I grabbed a big white shopping bag and filled it with food and drove to my friend’s house.

What kind of QUICK meals do you take to those in need?

(Speaking of need, if you haven’t had the time to read and contribute to Erika, from The Ivory Hut, you can read her devastating story. It’s in times like these that friends need to pitch in and help one another out.)

   

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23 Responses to “Caesar Salad. Bag it Up. Give it Away.”

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    1
    Robin — September 8, 2010 @ 4:05 am

    I love this post! You have now sold me on trying to freeze cake!

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    Courtney — September 8, 2010 @ 4:05 am

    What a great idea! I’d never thought about giving a meal in this method before. Thanks!

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    Candy — September 8, 2010 @ 4:11 am

    This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. Until my injury, I never really realized how much taking a meal to someone meant to the recipient. Now, there are evenings where that very meal brought over is the only thing that stands between my family having a hot dinner and making sandwiches or having a bowl of cereal. Defrosting in my fridge right now is a plastic dish containing turkey meatballs. I have no clue what turkey meatballs are like, having never had them before, but I can tell you, it’s appreciated more than the sender will ever know.

    We have been blessed – so blessed – by the many meals brought to us over the past year. Believe me, it’s not the presentation, not even the taste so much, as it is the thought that someone cared enough to bring food from their home to ours. It’s so elemental, really. Basic. Food. Sustenance. And even more, that human connection, that truly makes the difference.

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    Candy — September 8, 2010 @ 4:11 am

    This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. Until my injury, I never really realized how much taking a meal to someone meant to the recipient. Now, there are evenings where that very meal brought over is the only thing that stands between my family having a hot dinner and making sandwiches or having a bowl of cereal. Defrosting in my fridge right now is a plastic dish containing turkey meatballs. I have no clue what turkey meatballs are like, having never had them before, but I can tell you, it’s appreciated more than the sender will ever know.

    We have been blessed – so blessed – by the many meals brought to us over the past year. Believe me, it’s not the presentation, not even the taste so much, as it is the thought that someone cared enough to bring food from their home to ours. It’s so elemental, really. Basic. Food. Sustenance. And even more, that human connection, that truly makes the difference.

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    Tara G. — September 8, 2010 @ 4:22 am

    I was the organizer for meals within our last squadron and I noticed two things: (1) it was like pulling teeth to get people to sign up to make a meal perhaps once every few months and (2) the thoughtfulness of such an act of kindness went a long way. I have a few go-to meals that are very easy to do- a Cranberry chicken recipe that literally takes 3 minutes to throw together and I will add frozen veggies, rolls, and some brownies or other easy dessert. If I have time, I’ll make a loaf of bread in the machine.

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    Rose — September 8, 2010 @ 7:18 am

    Great post! I love taking meals to new mothers and others who need a helping hand. My go-to quick meal to take someone is a homemade soup with bread bowls picked up from a local bakery. It hardly takes any time at all and with a little sweet treat thrown in for dessert, it makes a nice meal!

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    HPD — September 8, 2010 @ 7:28 am

    It’s the thought that counts … gotta keep reminding yourself of that … because these days, everyone’s on a weird diet and kids have allergies and buying food for someone else can be a minefield. Stick with safe things that are freezable. Soup is great, whole wheat bread, etc. But watch out for anything with peanuts, chocolate, etc.

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    Eliana — September 8, 2010 @ 7:32 am

    You’re such a good friend. This is the perfect quick meal. I love how a rotiserie chicken from the market manages to save the day.

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    Elaine — September 8, 2010 @ 8:09 am

    Great way to take a meal. Thanks for sharing it.

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    Richella — September 8, 2010 @ 8:25 am

    This is a great post! I need to get over the notion of having to make things “just right” and just go ahead and TAKE something, for crying out loud! When we’ve had difficulties, I’ve so appreciated people bringing us meals, or flowers, or desserts, or just anything! You’re right: people want to feel cared for. Thanks for the reminder to KISS!!

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    Jess — September 8, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    How funny! I came to your site to look for an idea to make for my friend that just had surgery and your post was written exactly for what I had in mind! Thank you – it’s a great idea and now I’ll make my grocery list :o)

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    the BLAH BLAH BLAHger — September 8, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    What a FANTASTIC idea!!!

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    Merry — September 8, 2010 @ 9:04 am

    I’m a member of the meal ministry at my church and I have to share this funny:
    I always ask if there are any food restrictions and one time the coordinator said yes,
    they don’t eat any orange food. HUH? Who’s allergic to “orange”????
    Made me smile and no sweet potato shepherd’s pie for them!

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    Shelle — September 8, 2010 @ 11:16 am

    What a great idea! I never thought of sending along a rotisserie chicken and salad. Love this!

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    lisa — September 8, 2010 @ 11:20 am

    I love Taking nice things, but there are more times than not…that I do not have the time, so I have some dinners I double if I know ahead of time, but always have standbys “just in case” Tortilla soup is everyones favorite…it is a dump, dump, dump recipe…literally, a carton of lemonade and Bisquick cornbread…OR Shrimp Corn Chowder, Artisan bread from the store and apple juice. I have even taken a sleeve of crackers, a can of soup and 7UP! It is the thought that counts!

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    Kirstin — September 8, 2010 @ 11:46 am

    Hmmmm….I don’t know that I’ve ever done a “quick” meal for someone, but I love your idea! Maybe if I had the ingredients on hand I’d do some yummy homemade sub sandwiches with chips and fruit and cookies.

    I love how you get the mind working!! Monday and tuesday we had some “helpers” helping my hubby work on the house. Monday I put together a quick 30 minute lentil/veggie soup for them, and yesterday opened a jar of homemade spaghetti sauce to mix with some leftover sauce and made them spaghetti with some sauteed yellow squash and zucchini from the garden!

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    17
    Kirstin — September 8, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Okay, I’m finding it odd that I post one comment and it doesn’t do the COMMENT LUV, but if I go to post again, it does. Very weird!!

    the rest of my above comment….so I suppose really, those are “quick” meals for others, but just not ones I take to peoples homes. A few weeks ago when it was really hot, our concrete was being poured. I offered the workers some yummy fruit popsicles and ice water to keep them cool and happy.

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    Jennifer B. — September 8, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    Funny! I was just planning on taking foord to a couple at church who just had a baby. I agree that keeping it simple is always the best. I’ve had four babies and don’t even remember WHAT people brought me, but I do remember WHO brought me something. It is the thought that counts! It’s always a blessing to bless someone!

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    LoveFeast Table — September 8, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    I have done a version of this at the grocery store if I don’t have time to fix a home cooked meal. I would run through the store to fill a brown bag with french bread, a nice bottle of dressing, a bag of lettuce, a fancier jar of spaghetti sauce, and some noodles, sometimes event the kind that are fresher and take only a minute or two to cook. Then, for dessert, some fruit, maybe a bag of grapes or some cookies.

    A home cooked meal is lovely, but back in the day when I was towing a few pre-school aged kids this made me feel happy that I still could put something creative and special together for someone.
    ~Chris Ann

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    Aggie — September 8, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

    A neighbor of mine lost her mother a couple of years ago and I packed a large bag of stuff for her from home and the grocery….cold cuts, bread, bagged salad mix, cut fruit, brownies and a container of homemade tomato soup. I figured it would last a few meals, especially with her having younger children. After I had my daughter neighbors brought meals and it was the most wonderful thing.

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    Lynne in NC — September 9, 2010 @ 1:59 am

    This idea is great!
    I have gathered a meal from the deli department at the grocery store and delivered to a friend with a new baby.
    I’ve also taken the rottisserie chicken salad, croissants, fruit and a dessert from Costco for a meal to friends recuperating from surgery.
    It’s already been mentioned, but I believe not having to think what to feed one’s family during a season is a blessing to a new mom, a grieving family or recuperating friend.
    Thank you for all your wonderful ideas.
    Peace.

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    lsc — September 18, 2010 @ 6:01 am

    Nothing feels better than to have someone bring you a meal when you’re just not able to do so and for me it’s a great feeling to bring a meal too. I’m always looking for a meal that travels well. I like this idea.

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