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Something I can make ahead to take to a funeral

I need a large dish I can make and freeze to take when needed.Can I cook a beef tenderloin cut it up with gravy and re-heat it and it will be OK?
Any other ideas?

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  1. Can't speak to the meat and gravy as I find my reheated frozen gravy always separated so zi only make it fresh.

    However any lasagna or baked pasta dish lends its self to freezing. It's my standard funeral/wake/new parent drop off dish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      I always wonder what to bring too. Couple of ideas:

      **homemade granola, some fresh fruit cut up so it can be served on the granola, plus a large container of good quality Greek yogurt
      **homemade rolls and either homemade pulled pork or sloppy joes. I love this recipe for rolls:

      1. re: soccermom13

        I think that granola idea is a fantastic one. Something different than usual.

        1. re: soccermom13

          Second the pulled pork...it freezes and thaws well as does roasted pork loin; serve with a platter of small dinner rolls.

          Other things are a pot of gumbo or jambalaya; chicken & pastry (or what others might think of as dumplings); a pan of bbq or baked chicken (if you're doing baked, it's easy to turn that into baked chicken & rice by baking the chicken for an hour then stirring the rice, broth, aromatics and seasonings right into the pan with the chicken and continue to bake for another hour); it's a one pan meal.

          A large pan of baked beans with chopped ham, mustard, brown sugar, onions and peppers can be made ahead/frozen and reheated. A whole roasted turkey is a welcoming change from baked pastas. Accompany with rolls, chutney or relish like orange cranberry or a cranberry mayo. Or turn it into a bowl of turkey salad with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries or apples.

      2. Unfortunately, it's really easy to dry out sliced/ reheated beef and tenderloin is so lean anyhow. If you do it ahead of time I wouldn't re-warm, I'd serve it room temp and make the gravy separate (so it doesn't!)I'd probably do a horseradish cream instead of gravy.

        1. Second the lasagna.

          Beef stew also freezes well. Chunk veggies on the thicker side so they don't overcook when you reheat.

          Chicken soup. Add small pastas after you defrost
          because they get soggy in the freezer.

          Or make a homemade tomato sauce/gravy (with or without meatballs) and freeze that. Then defrost and make pasta to go with it.

          1. Lasagna/other baked pasta dish
            A meatloaf
            A quiche/frittata

            These are some of the items brought over to us by friends and family when my mother in law passed away a few years ago

            1. Do you want (or have you been asked) to necessarily bring a hot dish? You could also bring a cold cut tray, or a quiche, or a frittata. If hot, a third set thumbs up for lasagna.

              Also, off topic totally, I try to use disposable roasters/baking pans, so that mourners don't feel obliged to hustle a dish back to me.

              1. I definitely wouldn't try to reheat a tenderloin. That ends up cooking it more and it ends up overcooked. BUT...cold tenderloin (I would go with no gravy) is great for sandwiches and the like (maybe some small rolls and some condiments?).

                Or else, any kind of casserole would be a good idea.

                1. How about a brisket instead of tenderloin?

                  1. Lasagna or Mac and cheese

                    1. meatballs and sauce
                      stuffed cabbage/peppers
                      veal/beef brisket and potatoes
                      chicken soup/vegetable soup

                      1. When my dad passed away we received at least a half dozen lasagnas. So, I wouldn't do lasagna.

                        If you don't have to do a hot dish, the idea of doing cold beef sandwiches is a good one... that's pretty much all I felt like eating. Just send with some yummy condiments and good quality rolls.

                        Other types of casseroles are good too, even a pasta bake.... maybe with a pesto type sauce instead red sauce. Just not lasagna.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: juliejulez

                          agree about the lasagne.

                          tenderloin is too lean to freeze and reheat.

                          a beef or chicken stew, coq au vin, corned beef... all that stuff holds and reheats very well. quiche and frittata too.

                          depending on the season, soup, like chicken soup or italian wedding.

                          if you aren't required to bring a hot dish, the cold cuts or antipasto is great so people can just pick.

                          brownies, cookies, blondies.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            Wonder if its regional. I always drop off a lasagna or baked pasta dish because everyone around here brings/drops off things like a spiral ham and rolls, cold cut platters, sandwich platters and the like. There are usually very few "hot" or pasta options.

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              dunno, am italian-american and we always just got too much of everything and nobody felt like eating anyway.

                              i always think it's nicer, if you are able, to stop by a few days after. when the funeral stuff has settled down and the family is less dazed.

                          2. re: juliejulez

                            Another suggestion is to maybe bring beverages also... sodas, juice, something. That was one thing most people didn't bring and we had to go to the store to get.

                          3. Instead of the beef tenderloin what about a beef bourgignon?

                            1. Are you talking about taking it to the family later, not right after the funeral? Is this for people that come to the home after services, or something for the family to have for dinner when they are too grief stricken to cook?

                              1. Hi, Cat:

                                Unfortunately, I've been doing this a lot lately. My #1 prep is a New England clam chowder (Google "Ray's clam chowder recipe") and a no-knead bread. The chowder actually improves if you make it ahead. But I wouldn't freeze it.

                                It scales up 2x,4x, 8x, etc.


                                1. Where are you? What do people in your community like - what is fresh and available??

                                  what do your people do after a funeral/memorial service and in days/weeks after a family loss??

                                  Customs vary so much

                                  I agree about tenderloin or any other roast. That is a dish to bring to a gathering where it will be eaten immediately so a tenderloin that can be thin-sliced and served with good rolls or bread for sandwiches is great; even better if you have lots of a thin, au jus gravy (not thick roux-based).

                                  I always bring something to the after-funeral at home/church gathering that can serve many people and will keep a few days refrigerated, plus a casserole/stew in a simple dish that can easily be re-heated (add a note with instructions) in a disposable pan. Then in a week or so, its kind to come by for a visit with something different and new.

                                  Family always needs: sturdy paper plates, cups, napkins etc., beverages, utensils. Even TP and paper towels. And hands-on help. If you know the family well enough to mop and vacume, help wiyth chores, bring flowers, set up a food table, keep track of what people bring in a food record book and answer the phone.

                                  I was raised by the old-fashioned Southern women (church ladies and good-old girls who never set foot in a church) who know how to do what needs doing, almost invisible and no big fuss but everybody gets fed and comforted in whatever way they need. And I have yet to meet anyone that can't be helped with a big pot of vegetable soup, ham biscuits and Aunt Polly's sour cream pound cake.

                                  but if I know where you live I can be more specific.
                                  xxx K

                                  1. The title of the thread and the actual question don't seem to be the same thing. The title suggests you are bringing something to the gathering, yet in the body of the post you mention you want it to be able to be frozen and "take when needed."
                                    The responses include both, but if you could give some more details, it would help narrow the suggestions.

                                    1. My brother inlaw is dieing in the hospital,I"am looking for a dish I can bring to my sisters home to be served either before or after the funeral service since we will have family from out of town comming. Thanks everyone for all the great ideas, it has been difficult to plan ahead since we don"t know when this will happen.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: catface1

                                        it would be helpful to know what are dying b.i.l. i's religion, ethnic background

                                        1. re: catface1

                                          Oh, dear. Take care.
                                          Poundcakes freeze well.
                                          Also, not tenderloin, but brisket might be a good choice. Here's one article, there are more, I googled freezing brisket. http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...
                                          Also, one of those spiral sliced hams might be good as a main meat dish.

                                          1. re: catface1

                                            So something frozen would be a big help, even a couple of things, and you might be able to supplement it with something freshly cooked as arrangements are being made. I don't think a tenderloin takes long to cook, so that could be still in the plan.

                                            1. re: catface1

                                              oh, dear. you have enough on your mind. if you have time to cook, make a big vat of soup, portion and freeze. this can also be done with crustless quiche and any kind of meat/poultry stew (minus potatoes).

                                              1. re: catface1


                                                so very sorry to hear about your sister's husband; this is a hard time for your family.

                                                Some information about where you are will help us help you.

                                                What part of the country are you living in?
                                                Do you live in the same town w/your sister? If not -how long is the drive? will you be at her house, a church or other location where you can cook what you bring? How much cooking experience for you?

                                                Any allergies or food likes/dis-likes to be aware of? Many of us here have broad experience and can make suggestions. Some food-related details will make our suggestions more useful. I'm sure others want to help.

                                                w/respect K