Belonging to a mom’s group has been a huge blessing to me. And I do NOT throw that word around lightly. At all. I have [finally] made friends, Tike has buddies and social skills, and I have a community of women (and their families) that are willing to help out anytime, even if we are not specifically close in the grand scheme of the group. For example, Hubby, Tike and I moved when I was about 12 weeks pregnant or so. This meant Hubby was pretty much on his own (his always very helpful parents were taking care of a property they own about 8 hours away, which would have fallen into a river had they not gone down. So, no help there, and no hard feelings) to move anything over 25 pounds. I asked for help from two women at one of our meetings on a Tuesday, and that Saturday they arrived with their hubbies and work gloves. I had asked for help moving the big items (beds, sofa, etc.). Well in half a day’s time, they had moved all that and everything else left in our house, even though I hadn’t been able to pack it all myself yet.
Another area in which our group excels at rallying and pitching in is when someone has been in the hospital (usually to deliver a baby, but not always). As you may remember, this is an arrangement I will personally appreciate in a couple more months. We set up a tri-weekly meal delivery (regular baby-delivering circumstances usually call for a month, in case you were curious) through a free website (in our case we use http://www.caringmeals.com). About two months ago, one of our moms had a baby, and we did what we do. Our website allows for us to list what food we are bringing, so I try to make sure not to duplicate too closely something someone else is bringing in the same week. I can’t imagine a worse week for dinner than endless pots of spaghetti and some lasagna, green salads with all. That may just be because I am not a fan of tomato sauce.
My stand-by was baked chicken zitti, with parmesan bread and spinach salad, cookies for dessert. Last month, I hit a snafu. Someone had signed up on the website on behalf of two other parties (my guess is a couple of sweet old church ladies with no concept of Interwebz), so had to put in what she was told they were bringing. Of course I discovered this issue on the day I was bringing dinner, as it was baking away in the oven. And the issue was this: Spaghetti/green salad, chicken bake/green salad, lasagna/green beans, baked zitti/spinach salad, spaghetti/green salad. I felt so bad. Since then I have been on the look out for new “stand-by” ideas, and let me tell you they are NOT easy to come by.
First of all, what are they called? How do you Google it? Caring Meals, Blessing meals, Meals for others…? Secondly, trying to look it up on recipe websites, the best category I could come up with was “portable” or “potluck” if the site had such listings, or “picnic” and “entertaining” if not. Finally, the meals have to be easy to shop for and cook (since I am doing two batches of everything, as our family eats the same menu on a caring meals night with perhaps a few tweaks), not to mention easy to transport (bless those brave women who make soup and drive it around the foothills here where we live! I am too klutzy for that), relatively universal in their appeal (spaghetti and lasagna are so popular because pretty much everyone loves it), and unique enough not to be repeated the next day.
I have decided I am going to randomly blog about good recipe ideas for caring meals, plus any other tips and tidbits I stumble upon on the search (like what else they are CALLED!! yay for additional search terms). As if my blogs aren’t random enough.
Peace out (til later today)