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LoriZig

What to bring for friends in crisis?

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I need some ideas for what to bring friends who are going through a rough patch- in mourning, dealing with illness, etc. No dietary restrictions, but I'm looking for suggestions for some good, wholesome food that a large cross-section of the population would like (i.e. nothing too spicy/rich/exotic) and that's easy for them to assemble/freeze/reheat.

I am visiting friend whose partner is getting ready to go into hospice next week and I'd like to bring over a few dinners and snacks that he can have on hand.

Thanks!


You say I am mysterious. Let me explain myself. In a land of oranges, I am faithful to apples. ~ Elsa Gidlow

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one dish that everyone loves and is very comforting is good old fashioned home made baked macaroni and cheese

I make it with gorgonzola and it is fantastic but cheddar or whatever is wonderful food for rough times

you are a good friend


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Lori~

I think I have seen another similar thread that would give you lots of ideas but I have no idea how to search for it. Moderators? Help?

Kathy

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Both Lasagne and Mac&Cheese are great savory side suggestions. Also think sweets. When people are down, they often like food indulgences. Coffee cakes, chocolate truffles, pound cakes, etc. are great items.

-Mark-


---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

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Both Lasagne and Mac&Cheese are great savory side suggestions. Also think sweets. When people are down, they often like food indulgences. Coffee cakes, chocolate truffles, pound cakes, etc. are great items.

-Mark-


---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

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Lori~

I think I have seen another similar thread that would give you lots of ideas but I have no idea how to search for it. Moderators? Help?

Kathy

Maybe this is the one you're thinking of?

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=64949

I think the idea behind funeral/wake food is similar.

LoriZig, my thoughts are with you. Glad your friends have someone like you around....

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Lori~

I think I have seen another similar thread that would give you lots of ideas but I have no idea how to search for it. Moderators? Help?

Kathy

Maybe this is the one you're thinking of?

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=64949

I think the idea behind funeral/wake food is similar.

LoriZig, my thoughts are with you. Glad your friends have someone like you around....

Sony~

Yes, thanks! Lots of ideas and links to other threads.

I agree with comfort/casserole type dishes. Spag sauce/penne/cheese......enchiladas

Anything that can be scooped onto a plate and nuked with minimal fuss and clean up.

Cookies. Individual portions of desserts. Biscotti.

Good luck.

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While lasagne is a great idea...we have some friends who just went through a similar crisis, and they received not one, not two, but four pans of lasagne.

I showed up with a roast chicken, and loaf of great sourdough, bagged salad, a green bean salad, cut up fruit, some decadent wedges of brie and a quiche (and ice cream sandwiches), and it was very much appreciated.

Oh, and for the dad who adores spicy food, a couple of containers of pre-cooked rice topped with a very spicy Thai curry.

And everything was in those cheap Rubbermaid containers so no need to return any of them.

Think, too, about the weather. Here, the heat has been hovering in the 90's, and the idea of lasagne makes me, well, go urp.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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My ultimate comfort food is chicken and noodles. It also freezes well.

Homemade bread is always comforting; be sure and bring butter, and maybe even flavored butters. See the minimalist bread thread for Mark Bittman's recipe, if you don't already make it. Simple and nearly guaranteed to turn out well.

How about some homemade cream of tomato soup, and some individually wrapped cheese sandwiches, with outsides buttered, ready to pop into a pan and fry or grill?

And even though I always love foods like this at difficult times, sometimes it's nice to just have some fresh fruit and vegetables around, when everything else is too much, too heavy, and too rich.

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Baked Ziti, baked beans, or even get a spiral sliced ham from Costco. It just has to be heated, can feed a lot of people and will last a while. You can also buy those rotisserie chickens (one or two...depends on how many people will be around) from the grocery store/Costco. Already cooked...just heat.

You're looking for no-fuss food and it does help out.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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You guys are really terrific. :wub:

Thank you so much for all the great suggestions! And I'll go look at the other link for even more ideas- I really appreciate you finding it for me!

I have the weekend to cook, so I'm thinking that I'll make a baked pasta/lasagne, some brownies, a loaf of bread (flavored butters- what a grand idea! I'll do a honey butter and a savory one!), and make a baked chicken on Monday night.

This will be going on for awhile, so it's great to have an aresnal of ideas.

Thank you all-- you have such big hearts!


You say I am mysterious. Let me explain myself. In a land of oranges, I am faithful to apples. ~ Elsa Gidlow

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This is probably a monkey wrench, but under similar circumstances, I could not eat. Someone dropped off a plate of food I ended up pulling out of my mouth with my fingers because I couldn't stomach it.

I went to the grocery store and bought eggs, english muffins and oranges. And so my father and I ate for about a week.

Bread freezes well and is defrostable by the slice.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Fiber, Nutrition, Potassium

Nutritional shakes, puddings!

Maybe those childrens Kids Cuisine meals to make them feel silly and happy?

Stop at Burger King and get a kids meal with a paper crown...

Make them wear the crown.

Veggy soup for fiber and nutrition?

Smoothies...I think most smoothy companies make anti stress smoothies.


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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My mother died a couple of weeks ago, and I moved to Ottawa for three months to act as cook/factotem. I didn't get much help, and what with cooking and shopping for three meals a day for five (and trying never to duplicate the dinner menu) instead of one meal a day for two I was stretched thin. I'd like to thank Jakki Gordon, a petite lady who rattles around alone in an Edward Gorey style mansion across the street.

She'd appear on the front porch with home-baked muffins, perfect for breakfast or teatime. The mere knowledge that my family had real baking (that I hadn't had to bake myself) calmed me.

Two days after the funeral she showed up clad in the tiniest Lacoste shirtdress with all those old WASPy diamonds on her fingers. She handed me a four litre basket of strawberries she'd picked herself earlier in the day. Deep red to the core, sweet, fragrant. They were like a blessing.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I like quick breads for these circumstances because there are so many varieties, they're good for random snacking, (since regular mealtimes are often neglected during crisis), and to offer to company, (which they may have a lot of), and they freeze well, (because they may get a lot of food gifts during these times).

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Two days after the funeral she showed up clad in the tiniest Lacoste shirtdress with all those old WASPy diamonds on her fingers. She handed me a four litre basket of strawberries she'd picked herself earlier in the day. Deep red to the core, sweet, fragrant. They were like a blessing.

What a wonderful story. One of the things I've remembered from family and friends' funeral and tragedy sadness is the lack of anything fresh. The most precious gifts came in the form of fresh stuff; the perishables we didn't have the time nor energy to shop for.

Don't forget the veg and fruit.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Two days after the funeral she showed up clad in the tiniest Lacoste shirtdress with all those old WASPy diamonds on her fingers. She handed me a four litre basket of strawberries she'd picked herself earlier in the day. Deep red to the core, sweet, fragrant. They were like a blessing.

What a wonderful story. One of the things I've remembered from family and friends' funeral and tragedy sadness is the lack of anything fresh. The most precious gifts came in the form of fresh stuff; the perishables we didn't have the time nor energy to shop for.

Don't forget the veg and fruit.

Maggie, I'm sorry to learn that your mother passed recently. Very sad.

I was struck by the earlier comments about lasagne, etc. Delicious but heavy for summer. Speaking for myself, this time of year i want light and seasonal.

pre-cooked:

- a pasta or couscous salad, including lightly steamed veggies such as broccoli or pea pods.

- a roasted chicken or two, or some cooked chicken breasts or wings with a basting sauce for reheating.

- stuffed peppers or zucchini (meat or veggie stuffing, as you prefer)

- a meatloaf, with sides such as potato salad and fresh veggies (beans, etc.) prepped and only needing a quick blanche.

- a big batch of ratatouille, great as a side, or with pasta or an omlette.

Or how about the components for a quick, homemade meal:

- a batch of homemade pesto, with some fresh pasta

- some good tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and a bunch of basil for a caprese salad.

- chicken salad, with tomatoes, cucumbers (you can peel, slice in advance and pack in a ziplock bag), good bread.

Surely others can add to this list.

I agree with everyone that home baked goods are always welcome.



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Definately comfort food. Here's the big deal:

1) Make sure it is prepared in no-return packaging- therefore, if it is a casserole, make it in a disposable metal dish. If it's quick bread, a disposable loaf pan. These people are in crisis- they don't have the time, energy or concentration to return your dish. Get It?!

2) If it is not pre-cooked, include the cooking instructions.

3) Think about things you can serve and leave out for company or things youcan freeze and keep for later.

4) If they have any dietary restrictions or preferences, please bear that it mind. Thus, if they keeep kosher and you do not, Please bring them packaged goods with a hekshar on it. If they are Vegetarian, please respect that. When in doubt, ask.

5) A few weeks after the crisis has passed, everyone has forgotten and gotten on with their lives. This would be the ideal time to call and leave a prepared meal with salad, entree and dessert. Don't be surprised if they ask you to saty; tehy still feel the need to connect and how better than through a thoughtfully prepared meal?

6) On the other hand, if they have a loved one who they must attend in a hospital et al, feel free to send a gift card for their favorite restaurant. meals out are always a respite from the crisis at hand.

7) Don't forget the staff- If their loved one is in a nursing home or hospital, feel free to drop off goodies with a card that says- "Thank you from the friends and relatiews of ....." Yes- it really does make a differnece!

Think about what you would like if you were in their situation- and do it. When in doubt, do the kindest thing- they will always remember even the smallest gesture.


Edited by NWKate (log)

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I was going to suggest some hearty soups then remembered that its summer where you are whilst we are in the depths of winter! :sad:

Still...there are some gorgeous chilled soups that would be great.

I take platters of sandwiches, coldcuts with accompanying salads and dressings, pastry savouries able to be frozen (I am a caterer and have them on hand always) and thawed/heated as required. Also consider a big bowl of ready to eat salads with protein like Thai Beef, Cobb Salad, Asian Chicken and Noodle salad etc.

Have to say that my sandwiches/rolls have always been very well recieved in that they can be refrigerated, trays well wrapped, and are fine for at least 24 hours of people dropping by. Sweet things are welcomed for sure..that goes without saying. :)

I think the key here is to have food ready to eat (almost) no cooking required. A family in crisis is not going to want to spend time BBQ'ing food, slicing or dicing.

Good luck and I hope all turns out well for the family concerned.

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Normally I would vote for the lasagna/casserole/stew type of offering, but as many have pointed out, not in the dog days summer.

How about a jug of gazpacho? Refreshing, a beautiful way to show off lovely, in season produce, "personalize-able" to varied tastes, lasts a while in the fridge.....

A hearty, main-dish salad, composed in a large tupperware type container (think maybe Chinese chicken salad, Salade Nicoise, etc) with the home-made dressing in another non-returnable container. With some lovely, crusty bread (ideally home-baked) on the side.

A fruit tart or crostata (sp??) or gallette, again using the best summer fruits (cherries, berries, stone fruits) you can find.

I second the roast chicken or ham idea as well, that will give them leftovers for sandwiches and salads after the main meal.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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First of all, I want to share my concern with you, your family, and those who are suffering. Food is a good way to move through both the healing and grieving processes. As a recent college grad, I wrote one of my senior theses on the role of food in times like these, focusing specifically on the communities response to a death in the South.

While it is good to have simple, nutritious meals on hand and to bring to others, if you are involved and doing the cooking, it would be really good to think of the person who is either in crisis or has passed away. Think of foods that had a special connection to that person, and although they may not be the easiest or most convenient, it can be extremely meaningful. For example, one of my grandfather's favorite dishes was simply fried oysters. When he died, my mother and I went and got some fresh oysters from Apalachicola, FL (not too far away!!!) and fried them to share with the family. This was a bit of a task, but we sat around the table and ate and shared memories of my grandfather.

So that's my two sense, try to make a connection with the person and the food, and I think it will certainly help everyone who shares in the meal. Best wishes!


"Something about being in florida takes the edge off

laziness seduces you, invites you to take your shoes off and put your feet up, and whispers in your ear that nothing really matters

everybody else is having fun, playing golf, boating, lounging in the sun

it's hard to feel urgency about anything"

-Lee Irby

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- a meatloaf, with sides such as potato salad and fresh veggies (beans, etc.)

I agree with the meatloaf suggestion. When my Dad died years ago, me and my siblings subsisted off of a magical meatloaf and pan of mac and cheese that one of my Mom's friends dropped off. To this day meatloaf and mac and cheese are my ultimate comfort food.

:wub:


Iris

GROWWWWWLLLLL!!

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In a similar, though not so tragic, situation, I found I could not eat for a long time. I would force myself to nibble on something, and gag it down. I would suggest keeping it light in taste and texture, fresh if possible, and easy to grab when you realy don't want to. Small bites. Something loaded with nutrition in a small package. Also, drinks, orange juice, V-8 etc., it can be easier to drink at those times than to eat. Good luck and God Bless your kindness.


Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I also had the idea of maybe making your friends a quiche. (Hmmmmmmm, thinking about answering E-Gullet posts and food while trying to go to sleep, mental note, add to you know you're an E-Gulletier when.....LOL)

Seriously, again, quiche is ultimately "customize-able", and can be reheated quite easily by nuking. Also edible at room temp. That and a nice, fresh side salad with homemade dressing would be a great summer meal. There are some lovely quiche recipes out there that use fresh corn.........


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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