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Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in On the Basics | 0 comments

A Complete Guide to Sympathy Meals: Basics Part I

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 2.14.09 PM

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!

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