I think my post-C-section semi-starvation makes me jump to food. We were SO not prepared for the complications, and most of all the breast-feeding hell that was every 15-30 minutes attempting to latch a screaming-hungry baby. I literally did not let my husband leave the house (actually the ground floor) for 48 hours. I remember eating granola bars with water. Seems like stocking the freezer got left off our baby-prep to-do list…
My first meal was amazing. Nancy brought it over. Chicken with a balsamic reduction, green beans and tossed salad all from Whole Foods. It tasted better than anything! I think I cried again! So now my impulse when others are in need is food…
Here are some tips:
• Plan on a few sides to give even picky eaters some options. Store-bought cut-up fruit is a great side, or do it yourself.
• Consider a basic bread, a veggie a fruit, or a casserole with it all mixed together with fruit and rolls.
• My staples are pulled pork (I cook a 5-7 pound one in the slow-cooker so I can feed our family too. I cook it in mild broth so that even the little ones can partake, and allow families to add BBQ sauce, or maybe ketchup.) It can also be frozen. My other staple is lasagna. I make two pans, as it freezes well also. Be sure to include thawing time on any instructions.
• Consider including sauces, or extra spices/herbs in small baby food jars or Tupperware. I usually include BBQ sauce, but assume most folks have ketchup. I also often make our Thai Turkey Curry and put the fresh cilantro in a separate container. Maybe a home-made vinaigrette with the store-bought mixed salad…
• Cover dishes that need cooking in tin foil and write any cooking instructions in permanent marker on the foil.
• Include a menu card and repeat the cooking instructions on the card. List general items in case there are any allergies you missed.
• Have a small stock of disposable containers on hand (lasagna pans or bread loaf pans with plastic top for sides…) for when the need arises
• Deliver it all at an agreed on time, in a cool bag if frozen, and if hot, in a brown paper bag
• Consider asking in advance if they want a visit with the meal. Many are happy to just take the food and grateful for the help. A social call may not be restorative, or it might! Doesn’t hurt to ask…
• If you have kids, take them with you sometimes. Show them how we take care of each other. Depending though, you may want to leave the little one in the car for the hand-off (M used to wait in the car while I dropped meals off for a neighbor going through chemo. Lots of interesting talks on those days…)
• Be extra careful about hand-washing and hygiene. Someone post-surgery or on chemo has a weakened immune system, so having little helpers might not be a great idea.
• Consider keeping a tray of lasagna in the freezer, you can always eat it if you don’t need to make a delivery.