Though I love to cook, some days it just feels like a chore. Preparing a meal that one or more family members are sure to turn their noses up at in between school and sports and homework gets downright tedious at times. But a tearful phone call from a friend is all it takes to bring it all back into perspective...
I've been on the receiving end of one of those phone calls too many times this past year. Friends having major surgery or a scary diagnosis or having lost a loved one -- it can all make you feel a little helpless. Sure, lending an ear and sharing a few comforting words can go a long way, but I was often left wondering if there was something more I could do to support them in their time of need.
And then a friend shared Take Them A Meal with me, a simple site that makes coordinating meals for other simple and easy, and suddenly, it all become clear -- I can help them get out of the kitchen. If nothing else, I can help ease a friend's burden by, at least for an evening (or more if you can enlist other friends), taking over one of her most difficult chores, giving her a much needed period of rest to recuperate physically and emotionally.
I can probably guess what you're thinking right now... "Goodness, I can barely get a meal on the table for my family, let alone take a meal to a friend!" But I promise that you're not giving yourself enough credit. For me it was as simple as taking some of our favorite meals and doubling the recipes -- nothing fancy, just delicious, home-cooked food that I could transport and deliver to a friend at dinnertime.
Just to give you some food for thought, here are a couple of the meals that I gifted to friends recently. I doubled the recipes, and then packed up half of each item in aluminum trays or disposable plastic containers, reserving the other half for our dinner.
:: Meal #1
:: Meal #2
And if you truly cannot commit to a home-cooked meal, I can assure you that no one is going to turn you away if you show up on their doorstep with a frozen pizza and salad. As they say, it's the thought that counts, and the fact that you took the time to personally deliver them a meal is going to touch them beyond words.
Want to meet purveyors who are making a difference with their customers? Check out BonAppetit.com's "Out of the Kitchen", an ongoing exploration of the relationships that build and sustain the food industry. See how hyper-local food markets operate and how their focus on quality and service keep customers coming back for more.
This post is brought to you by Epicurious. All opinions are 100% mine.