Cooking For Others and Giveaway Day #4

Another special treat today: Aliesha, a long time IRL friend is coming over to join in the party, and talk about one of our favorite subjects around here: FOOD and how you can bless others through it. Take it away girl!

Hi!  I’m Aliesha from Feathers in Our Nest. Thank you, Kristin for inviting me to participate in your blog-warming party!  Your blog is a tremendous resource, filled with homemaking tips, recipes, and other lovely things.  I’m glad that our blogs have brought us “kindred spirits” together again!

If you’ve ever had someone prepare food for you when you were sick, you know what a blessing the “ministry of food” can be!  I love being able to bless people in need with meals, whether they are (or one of their family members is) sick, grieving, moving, or welcoming a new baby.

I thought I’d share with you today some tips for successfully bringing meals to others!

-Ask them.

This might seem kind of unnecessary, but it is important to talk with the family first and find out if a meal would be a blessing.  Ninety-nine percent of the time they’ll say yes, but this also gives you a chance to find out if they have any food preferences (i.e., vegetarian), intolerances, or allergies and what day/time they would appreciate the meal.

-Keep it simple.

It is better to take a bagged salad, store-bought bread, and a simple main dish than to completely stress yourself out over making something elaborate.  I find that it is easiest if I just double what I’m making so that I can feed my family and theirs with one swoop!  Plan a menu that you can complete part of a day ahead or at least the morning of so you are not as rushed at dinner time.

-Stick with what you know.

Don’t try out a recipe you have never tried before.  You’ll just be wondering if it turned out okay, and be horrified if you find out later that it did not.  The only exception to this rule is if you 1) know your way around the kitchen really well, 2) have a backup plan, and 3) are able to taste the dish before sending it over.  I recently tried a new recipe (fried rice) when taking a meal to some friends, but I had white rice for backup and I tried it before I packaged up their portion!

-Avoid polarizing foods.

In addition to avoiding foods that the family is allergic to, try to stay away from making main dishes that include polarizing (love ’em or hate ’em) foods, such as seafood, mushrooms, etc.  Consider packaging salad toppings such as tomatoes and dressings separately so that the recipient can use them (or not) according to their preferences.

-Package wisely.

Disposable containers are VERY much appreciated when you are delivering a meal.  That way, the family does not have to worry about washing and returning your dishes.  I find great disposable pans with lids at the Dollar Tree (usually two or three for $1).  Consider including some disposable plates and napkins too, especially if the family is moving (their dishes may already be packed!).  Make sure you also package things well for transport in the car.  You don’t want sloppy Joes all over the baseboard of your car!  I like to wrap things in a big towel to keep them warm, then put them inside a cardboard box to prevent spills.

-Give yourself a window.

Maybe this tip is just helpful to me.
🙂 Don’t promise that you’ll arrive at 5:00 sharp… instead say you’ll
be there between 5:00 and 5:15.  Shoot for 5:00, but if you’re running a
teeny bit behind schedule, you’ll still be there within the window you
gave them.

-Don’t forget dessert.

Even if it’s just store-bought ice cream or pound cake, try to include a little something sweet for the end of the meal (unless of course you know for sure they would not appreciate it).

-Give a little extra

I like to include little extras sometimes, like a pretty menu or decorative labels for the food.  Flowers from your garden would be lovely to include if appropriate for the occasion.  A hand-written note to the individual or family would mean so much, and a small gift for an older child would be a blessing to a new mom!  I love to include homemade bread when possible.  Another fun thing to do is take a few breakfast items for them to enjoy the next day!

-Enlist a crew.

If you are the meal coordinator, put the phone away and instead click over to Take Them a Meal, a website which simplifies coordinating meals.  I recently used this site and it only took me 5 minutes to set up a schedule and post the details to facebook.  Everyone can then just sign up directly on the site, avoiding the need for you to spend time on the phone or try to avoid duplicate meals!

Finally, here are just a few meal ideas to tuck away for the next time you are taking someone a meal:



-favorite casseroles


-takeout from their favorite restaurant

-pulled pork/beef sandwiches

-chicken pot pie

I hope these tips have been helpful to you and enable you to bless others through cooking for them in their time of need!

Thanks so much Aliesha for all your great tips on thoughtfully caring for people in this practical way!

Now for another GiVeAwAy (and the crowd goes wild!): Actually, (drumroll please…) we have TWO giveaways today (are you going wild yet?)!!!!!!

Have you ever heard of The Lemonade Makin’ Mama? Yeah. She’s pretty amazing. Totally open and honest, and man, does that girl know how to take a picture! Well Sasha, sweet lady that she is, decided to give away two sets of her fabulous fridge organizer magnets to two luck friends joining the Blog-Warming Party this week. Isn’t she a Peach? Why not go pay her a visit and tell her so. I know you’ll love her! But back to the giveaway…they are so darling! Just look:…and then there’s this set:I KNOW! Just too darn cute! So how can you get your name into the hat for one of these cutie pie sets?

Caroline wanted to be made Deputy Giveaway Manager, and Chester obliged!

That’s right, the pooches that live on Kristin’s Veranda, want to know what pets you have! If you don’t have any, then leave a comment about what your ideal pet would be. Of course as always, giveaways are only open to followers/friends of KV – I want to spoil the dear souls that stop by here for a visit on a regular basis! So if you haven’t already: follow via GFC, “like” us on Facebook, or subscribe via e-mail address, then enter away! I look forward to getting to know you better!

If you’ve missed the other giveaways this week, there is still time to enter them! Just click, HERE, HERE, and HERE to catch up on the previous posts from week!

Have you told a friend about Vignettes yet? Party on!



18 thoughts on “Cooking For Others and Giveaway Day #4

  1. I love taking people meals and I sure have appreciated it when people have done it for me! I wish we had a pet…but we’ve tried two cats that haven’t worked out…but the pet kitten we did have was named Trot (short for Trotwood)…

  2. Hey, this was a very helpful post! I love the food ministry 🙂 I can testify that it has definitely warmed some hearts in my life and is always such a blessing to see those smiles when you bring over the fiddles!

    I have 2 kitties – Romeo and Charlie
    And 2 Labs- Chance and Bella
    And my bf has an adorable mut that I consider my own too named Meeko 🙂

  3. I have a white, miniature poodle named Abbey. Unfortunately our landlords don’t allow pets in our house, so she is 8 hours away under the care of my parents. I can’t wait for when we are able to have pets again! 🙂

    I love those ideas for blessing others will food – it really can be a ministry! And I LOVE the giveaway items. What a great idea! 🙂

  4. Sadly my house is without animals right now – but my cats name is Alexander (the great) he just happens to reside with my parents across the Atlantic and is too old to travel – luckily Skype even works for cats!!

  5. Thanks for the tips, Aliesha! I will put them to use right away for friends who just had a baby. I have a bumper sticker from Penzey’s Spices hanging over my sink that says, “Love people. Cook them tasty food.” I agree that sharing food can be a wonderful ministry!

    As for pets, I don’t have any of my own, but my canine “nephew’s” name is Anjing, which means “dog” in Indonesian. He’s a 2 year old Lhasa Apso with an irresistibly cute face and an unfortunate habit of ankle biting.

  6. We don’t have any pets and I don’t know that we ever will but if I were given any choice of animals for a pet I’d choose a dolphin and name it Tilly. I know dolphins aren’t often pets but that’s what I’d like! =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s