Need Meal to Take to Grieving Family
2 adults and two school age children. No allergies, fairly sophisticated tastes. Several of their friends have gotten together, each taking a different night for the next few weeks so I'm not looking for something that will serve them on multiple nights, just one.
The meal must be able to be prepared the night before and refrigerated until late afternoon the next day.
TIA for your suggestions.
There have been several threads on this subject, so you might want to do a search. It's a really lovely gesture, regardless of what you bring, I'm sure it will be appreciated.
Lasagna. It is easy, they can pop it in the oven if they are hungry or keep it in the fridge for a couple of days if they just don't feel like it or even the freezer when they get around to eating it. It re-heats well if they eat leftovers. Put a salad and some nice french bread on the side.
Very thoughtful post...
As (VERY unfortunately) a recipient of the generosity of people like you twice this year, I can attest to the fact that eating is not a high priority...so anything you can make that is DIFFERENT from what they've been eating would be so, so appreciated, and very necessary.
I remember a literal ton of casseroles and one-pot meals...please skip these! We also ran out of refrigerator/freezer space quickly, and so much food went to waste -- food that people spent so much time, money and energy preparing, and it just made us feel worse! The most fabulous food donations we received and the ones we appreciated the most (and remember the most fondly) were the ones we could eat a little at a time, finger-type foods...fun stuff. Especially for my four school-aged kids -- they really devoured a meal we received that was really just a bunch of appetizers, a nice green salad, and some ginger ale -- the ginger ale was GREAT for both kids and adults. It was our first happy meal -- fun because it was informal, delicious, a surprise, and a little silly, all at the same time!
You could try small, individual size pizzas, built on rounds of cut out pita bread or tortillas (which store beautifully and can be reheated easily...Martha Stewart's website has a lot of great gourmet appetizer pizza ideas) to start...then fill in with maybe one more hot appetizer and one or two additional cold appetizers. Dim sum-type appetizers work beautifully here. Round it out with a large green salad, and they'll adore the ease and surprise of such a different meal. Then package the appetizers in separate containers, if you can...Chinese take-out boxes or disposable Glad or Ziploc plastic containers are perfect. It made opening them up SO much fun for the kids, at a time when they needed some fun.
My kids and I found our appetizer/finger food meal to be a very enjoyable and interactive experience...no silverware to worry about (oh! Whatever you decide, be sure to include paper plates and disposable dishes you don't need returned, and clear reheating instructions too...it made things so easy for us!), a lot of sharing and giggling ("Oh my! I wonder what is in THIS container?!"), and great food besides...we weren't yet used to large meals (it's easy to forget to eat when you're grieving) so an appetizer/dim sum type meal was just perfect for us.
Whatever you decide, I wish you well. More than anything though, they'll appreciate and remember the time and effort you're putting into whatever you decide to bring.
White chicken chili and cornbread could certainly be prepared the night before. It's not too heavy but still filling.