Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Saying I Love You with Food...

From Living On a Dime...

In this day and age of fast food restaurants and convenience food, we tend to think that most people, when going through a hard time, don't need a meal or a jar of soup brought to them.
Many years ago, before there were stores or fast food restaurants on every corner or microwaves in every kitchen, a neighbor bringing in a meal was sometimes a matter of physical survival. That isn't usually the case these days.
Even so, I hate to see bringing a meal to someone who is sick, has just had a baby or has lost a love one fall by the wayside. We often think the person or family can just pick something up or cook something easy in the microwave. They probably can but there are a couple of reasons why it is still nice to bring someone a meal.
Usually at these stressful times people are exhausted, both physically and emotionally. When this happens it is so hard to think and make decisions. Just ask anyone who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Trying to decide what to cook or buy for a meal can be very overwhelming. It's often the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Having someone call and say, "I'm bringing a meal for you tonight," can help so much to ease a persons mind, which is probably overloaded with other things. It is just one less decision to make.
Bringing food is a way of saying, "I love you," or, "I care." Food is comforting to most people. (I'm not talking about people overeating to comfort themselves so please don't comment on that). Being a grandma, the minute I know the grandkids are coming, I get out the cookies and candy and, when friends arrive, the first thing I do is bring out a plate of cookies or put on the kettle.
Taking a plate of cookies to a new neighbor says, "Welcome! We are glad to have you!" Taking a meal to someone who is sick says, "I care." Let's not let another way of saying, "I care," fall by the wayside.
I will try to share more ideas on this subject in a future post but, for now, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Make things as easy as possible for the person you are helping. Send napkins, plastic forks and spoons.
  • Start looking now for inexpensive bowls, platters and dishes at garage sales. You can leave these dishes when you take food to people so they don't have to worry about returning the dishes. When you can, try to use disposable pans and dishes so the people who are already overwhelmed don't have to wash dishes.
    There is a time and place to save the environment and this is not it. I save and wash most of the containers that I get when I buy things at the bakery or the grocery store and reuse them at these times. You would be surprised how many containers you get every day that would work great if you remove the labels and wash them.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Food prep is definitely one of my love languages. And when someone brings me a meal, I know they love me. If they bring it in disposable dishes, I know they REALLY love me. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post! I love this tradition too. I grew up in a rural area and we often shared dished with others. We used to write our name on masking tape and stick it to the bottom of the dish in order to get it back.

A while back our church posted a little blurb in the bulletin about the church women being available to take meals to others if needed -- just let them know who needs a meal and the # of people.

My husband who thinks all church women are magical little food fairies was so excited to see this.He excitedly pointed to it during the service and whispered, so if anything every happens to you I can just call these ladies and have them bring me food? Cool!

So funny!

Mrs. V. said...

I agree with this post! I remember when my children were born and when my parents were sick and dying, we were brought meals and it meant so much. I think it is such an important thing to take care of others in this way.

But as important as it is to give meals, it is also important to be a gracious receiver. I once knew a lady who had just had a baby and I suppose she was not accustomed to others providing meals. I told her I would like to bring them a meal over during this busy time and asked when would be a good time. She acted insulted and informed me that she was quite capable of feeding her family without any help.

Sometimes we are called to be the giver, sometimes we are called to be the receiver. Both are equally important.

Mrs. U said...

pathsofwrighteousness- LOVE those disposable dishes!! LOL!!

Trixie- Love the food fairies!!

Mrs. V- You are SO right!! Yes, we definitely need to learn to be gracious receivers!!!

Also, when we brought home our youngest daughter last year, we had a lady say to us, "Y'all just call and let me know when you want me to bring you a meal." Huh? For real?? Yep, she actually said that. AWKWARD!!!!

Mrs. U

Mrs. V. said...

I just wanted to comment one more time to say that I have been perusing your blog tonight and your children are absolutely adorable! Just positively precious. I just want to scoop them up and give them a squeeze, lol.

Julieann said...

Mrs. U!! Great post:)

We just got some new neighbors, and I was going to bake them cookies. Thanks for the gentle reminder, I better start baking:)


Salsygirl said...

It really is a dying form of communication in our times. Food is love. It is the tangible gift of nourishing the soul!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin