Monday, July 22, 2013

in the kitchen

I'm making and delivering meals this week for four families with new babies. Yes, four--two today and two on Thursday. Several friends delivered babies around the same time and well, they need to eat, so I'll spend a little extra time in the kitchen this week.

The two families today (plus me, Brad, and Mason) will enjoy my friend's scrumptious taco lasagna with all the fixings, salad, fruit, and dessert. Thursday's families (plus me, Brad, and Mason) will eat Once a Month Mom's chicken penne rustica (with some veggies mixed in), salad, bread, and dessert. Tripling each recipe must be easier than making an entirely different meal for each family, right?

I've learned a few things over the years about making and delivering meals for families who need them. I always provide food in containers that I don't need back. The last thing I want to do is give a busy new mom yet another task by washing my dishes and finding the time to return them to me (let alone remembering to do it). I used to spend a small fortune on Gladware, but then I realized that it's totally unnecessary! If I simply pay attention to what's around me, I have plenty of reusable/disposable containers from the food that Brad, Mason, and I consume.

Here are some of the containers I'm using for the two recipients of Monday's dinner.

  • Two foil pans for the taco lasagna (Yes, I bought these at some point, but these pans have been used several times for my own freezer cooking.)
  • Several take-out containers and lunch meat containers to hold salads and the chopped tomatoes and avacados for the taco lasagna
  • Two small glass jars (that formerly held sun-dried tomatoes) for the salad dressing
  • Yogurt containers to hold sliced, fresh fruit
I still need to find something to hold dessert, which will be, Lord willing, cheesecake, but I'm sure I can find something. I have a large plastic container that once held a rotisserie chicken from Costco--I think it's tall enough to hold 4-6 slices of cheesecake without squashing them.

I've found that yogurt containers are versatile and I can stuff all sorts of food in them: soup, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, rice, fruit. etc. I also save lids from big boxes of paper (or at least, I used to when I worked in an office). Box lids help to safely transport hot dishes (like taco lasagna) that I can't stuff into a bag. 

What are your tricks when providing meals for others? Which food containers are your favorite to reuse? 


jen v said...

another thing i like to do is split the meal in half, if possible, and prepare one half ready to eat now and the other half ready for the freezer for another day when baby meals have stopped arriving. so, for example, the pioneer woman's lasagna is great for this. it's a large output, so i split the recipe into 2 pans, cook one and freeze one.

4 meals in one week: that's a lot of babies! i'm sure the parents are blessed by your efforts!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I have a (new- I asked for an extra one) pizza box that I use to transport all sorts of things, including pies. I can fit two in it. I have a cute pie basked but the pizza box fits two. I actually use it every few months- that thing comes in so handy!


Aimee Olivo said...

Your new baby meals are THE BEST, Dr. Blondie!! And I'm so flattered that you are using my taco lasagna recipe....speaking of, it's been way too long since I've made that myself! Believe it or not, Abel's been making quite a few new baby meals lately!

Meg said...

Doing one this week! I also like to include plates/plastic ware so they don't have to do dishes and a loaf of zucchini bread for breakfast.