When you love to cook and feed others there is nothing more rewarding than delivering meals to friends who might not be able or in the mood to cook for whatever reason. Yesterday I tweeted a photo of a meal I’d put together for my friend Elizabeth who just had a baby last week (the most adorable baby I’ve ever seen) and got some requests via Twitter and Instagram (now owned by Facebook, the end is nigh!) for the recipes. While the meal consisted of parts that are by no mean unique (Lets face it, we all use Pioneer Woman recipes right?) I figured I could share the recipes and a few other of my favorite items to make for others when they need a meal dropped off- new baby, illness or just because.
I’m not reinventing the wheel or doing anything groundbreaking; there are many great blog posts out there by mothers and homemakers alike on how to deliver meals to friends to make it rewarding for you and useful for the recipient. Based on what I’ve read and been told, here are the things I’ve taken away from the process:
I also have a little personal rule that I like to include some sort of baked item that could either serve as dessert or a little breakfast treat the next day- you can only live on so many casseroles, you know?
Yesterday’s delivery was a crowd pleasing casserole dish, chicken spaghetti ala the Pioneer Woman (except I leave out the pimentos, sorry y’all) and my favorite salad in the entire world, which consists of spring greens, candied pecans, blue cheese and pears. (I asked ahead of time if blue cheese was ok since it is a polarizing ingredient). The salad recipe originally calls for walnuts but I think candied pecans are pretty delicious as well, and in the salad dressing I use brown sugar instead of white and I add a pinch of onion powder. I put the dressing in a small mason jar (no need to return) so they could chill the salad for today just in case – nobody likes soggy salad. Nobody.
Typically I make the casserole or dish all the way up until the “bake” point and then I freeze or deliver it immediately (with instructions to either bake asap or pop into the freezer, with instructions for both as well as how long it takes to thaw in the fridge once frozen). I’ve found that if you bake it and then deliver it and it gets frozen and reheated it isn’t as tasty.
Recipes that are delicious and perfect for making ahead of time to deliver to someone else:
- My Mom’s famous (to me) lasagna
- Poppyseed chicken, a Southern staple
- Sweet potato chile mac
- Susan Mason’s macaroni and cheese from the cookbook “Silver Service”
This macaroni and cheese….oh you guys. It is sinful and amazing and it is B’s most favorite thing in the entire world but I will only make it for him once a year so he has to choose wisely – it is never fun when he asks for it in February and then has to wait until the next year for another batch. I…cannot be responsible for what happens when you eat it, but I don’t mind delivering to anyone in need of comfort food.
And there you have it. One of these dishes paired up with salad and something baked (I went with cinnamon crumb muffins this time around…from a mix, don’t judge) you can be a meal deliverer extraordinare. Or…at least a good friend.