Meals to Prepare for a New Mom, a Sick Neighbor or a Grieving Friend

I never knew what to prepare for friends that need a meal dropped off and I never seem to be able to accomplish this task. I love to cook, but so many “freezable” meals are heavy and unappetizing (like Chicken Divan) or repetitive (Baked Ziti). I didn’t realize how welcome having a meal dropped off would be until I had a C-Section with my third child. Some of my favorites were a roasted tomato mascarpone pasta dish, a heavenly roast beef dinner and a ready-to-go taco night. One of my neighbors who isn’t a cook dropped off sushi from Whole Foods for the grown ups and chicken fingers and fruit salad from the prepared foods section for the kids. My former boss arranged for a gift certificate for takeout from a restaurant near my husband’s office. What a relief it was to not have to cook (or clean up) those nights.

One of my good friends is sick, so I picked up “The Good Neighbor Cookbook” by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg for some ideas. Most of the recipes I would make for my own family and sound delicious to prepare for a good friend. One great idea was Turkey, Brie and Apple on a Baguette- this is the type of sandwich that will keep in the fridge for a bit and won’t get soggy. Other ideas included biscuits, orzo salad, minestrone soup with potato gnocchi and rosemary beef with new potatoes.

Other ideas include homemade coffee cake, banana bread, blueberry muffins and other sweet breakfast/snack treats that are filling and good for moms and kids. It’s always good to call ahead and say, “I was thinking of making chicken soup OR enchiladas for dinner tonight or tomorrow night. What would your prefer?” What’s your go-to dish for new moms or sick or grieving friends?

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