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Lives of Doctor Wives: Dear Cristin 6/28/13

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dear Cristin 6/28/13


Dear Cristin:  I really love helping out my friends with new babies, people who just moved in or are moving out, etc by bringing them meals.  Do you have any ideas for easy meals that can be altered easily to account for food allergies (gluten, dairy, vegetarian)?  I know I'm putting all your mad skills to the test.  Please help!

What a lovely thing to do for people in transition! I like feeding people too--nothing soothes like the physical and emotional nourishment of a healthy meal prepared with care. This is the kind of small, human gesture on the part of the giver that means the world to an unsettled recipient.

From my own experience as a recipient of other peoples' generosity, I found that pasta and tacos were the most common offerings. Thus, I try to avoid those dishes, so that recipients will have some novelty to enjoy. (Nobody is ever ungrateful for a good lasagna, but six good lasagnas, one after the next--that may be another story.)

I want for a meal I bring to be as much blessing and as little burden as possible; with that goal in mind, I want to create a menu with as much flexibility for the end user as possible. I want for it to be simple to eat a little or a lot, to feed a single person or a house full, to use immediately or to put aside while working through other leftovers. I want for it to go to the recipient in a container that she won't need to wash, keep track of, or return to me.

My own go-to is soup; it is not complicated to make, the ingredients are not onerously expensive, it is easy to freeze if it won't be used immediately and simple to reheat when desired, and most pertinent to your question, it is simple to customize to suit the dietary needs of the recipient. A nice sturdy vegetable and barley soup for a vegetarian or vegan household, a sausage lentil for the soy or chicken allergic, bean & bacon soup for the nursing mother craving salt, beef stew for a dairy avoider--it's an infinitely flexible medium for personalization.

For recipients who don't care for soup (which is SHOCKING to me, but I have been assured that it does happen), I like to bring shredded meat sandwiches and picnic-style sides--Italian beef, or bbq chicken, or sloppy joe, or pork carnitas, whatever suits the tastes of the friends. Again, the goal here is flexibility in serving size and in timing of using the food; these proteins are simple to freeze in a labeled Ziploc bag, as are sandwich rolls, so that they can be used at the recipient's discretion. An undressed chopped salad and fresh fruit are useful anytime, and are so welcome in times of transition.



Blogger Sarah said...

Here from Medical Mondays. Thanks for the tips. I've been thinking about this as we offer to help other first years moving in. :)

July 1, 2013 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Your Doctor's Wife said...

Thanks for linking up for MM!!! Your post is very helpful and, for the record, I LOVE SOUP!!

July 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM  

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