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travels well and easily digestible

i'm making the trip to the berkshires from boston this saturday (with my 10 month old in tow) to visit a sick friend undergoing radiation treatment. i think a little baby time will be good. anyway, i wanted bring dinner. but it needs to travel well (i could stock a cooler no problem) and needs to be gentle (i assume....). i'd like to only have to reheat, and i'd like to stay away from red sauce stuff.

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  1. I think it doesn't get better than soup under those circumstances.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Georgia Sommers

      i'm also feeding her husband and her daughter (my best friend). i was hoping for filling and nourishing and leftovers for her husband.......i suppose soup could still work...

      1. re: eLizard

        Soup could be her main, and one of the courses for everyone else. I am sure you know this but just in case, be sure to check with her likes and dislikes when it comes to foods and flavors. Chemo can create some major food an d taste aversions. Also depending on her treatment schedule, it actually may be better to avoid some of her favorite foods.

    2. I'm thinking if it were me, a couple of suggestions that are easily reheated:

      A nice beef stew with some cornbread or potato rolls would be good (of course, this is my personal comfort food), or you could even thin it to make a vegetable beef soup.
      Chicken Tetrazzini (in my opinion - who doesn't like pasta;-) )
      Some tomato soup and good old fashioned grilled cheese (maybe with ham) - my fav.soup recipe:
      http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Cr...

      1. I haven't made that trip in ages, but is it about 3 hours?? Straight through on the pike, I really loved the Berkshires, so beautiful there.

        I recently made mini meatloaves for a family whose mom just had a tumor removed from her brain. It had to be at school for three pm, and I'm sure they didn't heat it back up until 5ish, when the husband came home. Also made garlic mashed potatoes & steamed green beans, all of which are pretty easy to reheat. And brought (not homemade) a pineapple upside down cake, so don't forget dessert, even if it's something simple (a rice pudding might be nice....) Just some ideas.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          yup. straight thru to exit 2 on the pike. i hope to make the trip in closer to 2 hours.... a girl can dream.

          i was definitely going to bring dessert. and breakfast (scones) for the following morning.
          do you have a rice pudding recipe?

          1. re: eLizard

            I made rice pudding twice over the weekend; once for a church supper and the second time for the food pantry. Everyone loved it; I'll be happy to share the recipe if you still need it.

            I was thinking chicken & dumplings; it's soft & easy to eat and it can be frozen for later

              1. re: eLizard

                Creamy Rice Pudding

                1 1/2 cups water
                1/4 teaspoon salt
                3/4 cups rice
                3 cups milk
                1/2 cup sugar
                1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more depending on how much you like)
                1 cup cream or half & half
                * raisins or other dried fruit, chopped, if desired

                Add the water, salt and rice to a 2 quart saucepan; bring to a simmer and cook rice for 10 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the milk and sugar; reduce heat to low and continue to cook the rice, stirring occasionally for another 30 minutes.

                Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and cream or half & half; continue stirring for two minutes then remove from heat. Add raisins or other dried fruit, if desired. I used dried cherries for one batch.

                Pour into dish and cover with plastic wrap, pressing onto surface of pudding to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate. This is also good warm.

                *if this firms up on you, you can loosen it up before serving by stirring in some plain yogurt or a little milk

                1. re: eLizard

                  i love rice pudding :) just a warning - there's a chance she may not be able to eat it because of the sugar - cancer patients are often instructed to follow a low-sugar diet. you might actually want to ask her if there's anything in particular she can't eat - soy may be on that list too.

                  if you do make the rice pudding, consider using brown rice instead of white, as adequate dietary fiber is even more important for patients undergoing chemo & radiation than it is for healthy individuals.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Good idea to check...my uncle went through radiation for cancer but he never changed his diet. If you're going to use brown rice, you're not going to get the same consistency as with the white rice because it's the starch that makes it creamy (like risotto)

                    With brown rice, it's going to take longer to cook & you're going to need to almost double the milk & cream as well as possibly add a beaten egg at the end. But, you can leave out the sugar until the end of cooking & remove some pudding for your friend's mother separately, then sweeten the rest. She can either sweeten to taste or not.

                    1. re: Cherylptw

                      yes, unfortunately you do lose a little of the creaminess with brown rice. great call to reserve the sugar until the end, though!

          2. shrimp and corn chowder? hearty but still has delicate flavors that won't overpower a stressed palate. when dh had radiation over the winter he had specific likes and dislikes that were unusual for him.

            a lot of guys like (really like) twice baked potatoes. you could do a batch and freeze singles. he could reheat with a burger or chicken breast or sauteed fish. add a salad or steamed veggie and he's set.

            1. this is so thoughtful of you - i'm sure they'll be incredibly appreciative.

              Phurstluv beat me to the meatloaf (turkey or red meat) and mashed potatoes suggestion - that would be my first choice.

              1 Reply
              1. My thoughts were tamales, enchiladas, cabbage rolls, crepes or possiblya baked potato bar. I suggest toning down the spices and onions in her portions. A mild tofy stir-fry with soft-cookes carrotts and other gentle veggies like squash and zuchinni over plain rice is also an idea. Would you be able to cook the tofu on site?

                2 Replies
                1. re: enbell

                  ooh, crepes could be great - plenty of sweet and savory options there. blintzes are great comfort food too. i might rethink the tofu though - depending on the type of cancer and her doctor's position on soy, she may not be eating it.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Good call, fermented things can be off-limits.

                2. We made Matzah Ball, with noodles and carrots,soup and mac n cheese for a friend in a similar situation.

                  1. A really simple cold pasta salad could be refreshing and very digestible.

                    1. My FIL just finished radiation and he could only get down very soft foods, not like meatloaf but custardy things like egg based soft foods--quiche, creme caramel, jook/congee w/ egg broken into it. He even had problems w/ frittata. You could make a couple of quiche in those disposable aluminum pans w/ plastic lids that would be easy to travel with. When I did it, I made a couple really hearty ones for everyone else and then a couple of plain ones for him.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chowser

                        i actually sorta decided on quiche, soup, salad, bread, a simple "3 egger cake" for dessert and scones the next day for breakfast. i'm so glad quiche will work.