A Complete Guide to Sympathy Meals: Basics Part I

Posted: July 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: On the Basics | No Comments »

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Last time, we kicked off the Complete Guide to Sympathy Meals Series, and I wanted to start off with some basics. Of course, you can always just bring over a cake, but if you’re aiming to assemble a full meal, here’s a very short checklist of what you should plan for

  • A main entree with protein
  • A side or two (with at least one veggie)

It’s also nice to include

  • Bread or rolls
  • Dessert
  • Beverages (2-liters or a pitcher of tea) and ice, if needed

1) You don’t have to go it alone…go in with someone else. Stay tuned for a post on what to do if you can’t/don’t cook. You can still help out!

2) Ask when you should drop the meal off. If 2 p.m. is when they say, try to make it happen. Prepare your meal for storage and further preparation accordingly. Sometimes you’ll be able to whip in at 5:59 to put dinner for that night on the table at 6, but sometimes you won’t. Bonus points: If there is a new baby in the house, ask how you should announce your arrival. Banging on the door or ringing the bell are probably not good options…especially if there is a dog in the house.

3) Find out preferences
Plain (Please bring over 24 baked potatoes. Ring the doorbell, and leave them on the stoop.)
Healthy (Rabbit food only please)
Comfort food (Mac & Cheese & Eat my feelings & Please & Thank you)
Time of day (I’ve got 12 dinners lined up in a row, but I like to eat breakfast, too.)

4) Use dishware you don’t expect to get back (use disposable or thrifted)
Go the extra mile and bring disposable dishware and silverware to eat your meal on so that there is virtually no clean up.
However, you should know your recipient. If they’re a green-friendly-recycle-only-tree-hugging bunch, it’s probably best to stick to the thrifted casserole dish that you don’t care to get back and let them use their own real dishes and silverware.

5) Make it freezer friendly
Assemble the main dish with a note that says how to bake (today or tomorrow) or freeze for later
Bonus points if you make homemade freezer meals (well-balanced, single meal portions for one or two)

Next time, we’ll talk about how long you should stay. I have some pretty strong feelings about this, and I look forward to hearing what you think!

eat/make/do [3]: Summer in Nashville Edition

Posted: July 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: eat/make/do | 2 Comments »

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While we’re talking about things to do in Nashville, I recently came across a few good posts with great Nashville eat/make/do round ups…well, mostly eat (this is a food blog, after all). If you’re looking to plan an adventure in Nashville this summer…check ‘em out:

Planning a Bachelorette Weekend in Nashville and The Ultimate Nashville Vacation by Kristin / Camels & Chocolate

It doesn’t matter if you’re not actually a bachelorette or traveling to Nashville. Maybe it’s your birthday, and you live here. Kristin’s got you covered with all of the best places to go.

Best Breakfast In Nashville by Nashville Guru

And where to find Brunch on Saturday by Jessyly

12 Dishes That Define the New Nashville by Steve Cavendish / The Nashville Scene

Must Try Cooking Classes by Nashville Lifestyles

I was super bummed when I learned that Viking had closed. I have taken several classes there (even more than I’ve written about because hello, I had a baby), and I always enjoyed it. These look like great recommendations, and I hope I can check them out soon.

If you find yourself in need of some men’s fashion in Nashville. You have to check out Haymakers & Co. My friend Miranda has been busier than usual (she always goes at mach speed) working with a great team to make this new concept come to life. I’m so proud of her!


Have a great week!

A Complete Guide to Sympathy Meals

Posted: July 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: On the Basics | 1 Comment »

What is a sympathy meal? People usually bring the word sympathy out around funeral time, but if you look it up, its meaning is a little more broad:

1. feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.

I’m sorry you are sick or mourning the loss of a loved one. Here’s some chicken noodle soup or a full BBQ spread to make you feel better.

2. understanding between people; common feeling.

I too know what it’s like to push a small human from one’s nethers. Please  accept this casserole and all of my love.


Are sympathy meals only a Southern thing? It feels like it to me, but I’m Southern so who knows? It’s definitely not a Norwegian thing. What do you think?



I’ve been ruminating on a sympathy meal post for a while. I’m not really sure what put it on my mind, but once I started writing out my thoughts I had several pages worth of information and decided it would be better to spread it over a few posts…a series, if you will.

You may have already read some good tips out there for preparing this type of meal. Here is a great post about it. And another. I’ve gathered up the definition, the basics, a few extensions on those guidelines, and a few more things you might not have thought of. Thanks for allowing me to define the art of the sympathy meal for you. Stay tuned for the rest of the tips…coming soon!