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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Meals on Wheels...for Friends!

So your ex-neighbor's best friend's nanny just had a baby, your pastor's cousin was in a car accident, or your co-worker is on chemo for breast cancer and you want to take them a meal. Unsolicited advice. That's what you came here for, isn't it? Hope so, cuz this next little bit is me telling you what I've learned about taking meals to friends, family, neighbors, and any other random soul that needs a good meal.

Follow these simple guidelines and you'll (almost) never go wrong!

1. Make sure the meal is wanted and needed! Contact the person, or someone you know is speaking for them during this time, and CONFIRM this need.
2. Ask about any FOOD ALLERGIES! Be sure you find out specifics.
3. Ask about any food likes or dislikes. Who wants to get a meal just to find out it has anchovies and you HATE anchovies?!?
4. Ask about any food intolerance. Is she nursing? Are they avoiding any specific foods...broccoli, milk, soy, garlic, soft cheeses, deli meats? Once again, be specific! Is a medication going to interact with it? Or even ask about certain smells if the individual is sick or having treatments.
5. Find out if others are bringing meals and what they are bringing. Repeat meals are duds. Do you want to eat lasagna for 6 nights straight?
6. Find out if they want you to prepare the food and freeze it before cooking it, or bring it warm. If you are freezing it, be sure to include instructions for cooking!
7. Find out if they REALLY want that dessert! If they are getting lots of meals they may be overrun with chocolate chip cookies. The desserts always outlast the meals!
8. Where should the meal be left?
9. Specific date and time?
10. And finally, USE DISPOSABLE items! DO NOT make a casserole in your casserole dish that you want back and expect them to clean it, keep up with it, and get it back to you. Use the tossables and stick your name on them in tape so they'll know who gave them that meal.

What a blessing a meal can be in a time of need! I've been given more than my fair share, and I intend to keep returning the favor. Best Wishes!


Impulsive Addict said...

OMG! Those things never dawned on me. I'm such a bad "meals on wheels" person.

I'm thinking a gift card sounds perfect....even more perfect if they offer take out!

Thanks for those handy tips and for visiting my crazy blog! =)

Baloney said...

Dude - we are working the same list.
Problem is that people are so hesitant to tell things they don't like. That has been my experience anyway.
I have a few stand-bys that I usually offer as choices after I ask if there are any extreme dislikes. Makes the whole thing a little less vague.

Swizz said...

I always tell them I'm likely to give them something stuffed with mushrooms and anchovies if they don't tell me what they like or don't like! With extra onions and the like! Gets em every time. ;o)