What do you know about taking dinner to someone? Is it always clear to you whether to cook the meal before you take it or not? Do you ever wonder if you have enough food? Do you ever wonder if your food tasted okay? No one will ever tell you if it didn't. After all these years of taking meals I always have this nagging fear that I do not really get the whole, "taking a meal to someone thing."
The first meal that was ever brought to us was when we lived in Provo in 1989. It was after Zach was born. I remember there was soup and then there was this cookie sheet with these dough colored balls sitting on it. I had NO idea what the dough colored balls were so I confess I threw them away. It was not until we were living in Kansas many years later that I figured out what those dough balls were, they were Rhodes Rolls. And most people do not throw them out they let them rise, get soft and then cook them at 350 degrees. I think people in Utah think everyone in the world knows about them and what to do with them but I grew up in Seattle and had NO idea what they were.
The first time I took a dinner, that I remember, was when we lived in Princeton, NJ. I met some very amazing women in my ward in Princeton. Women who probably have no idea how much they shaped my life. I watched them all ever so carefully. One of these women was Cindy. Now to a young mother living in Princeton University married housing, with no money, and lots of little children Cindy seemed perfect in every way. Now that I am older and have kids the same ages that she did at that time I understand that life was not perfect. But I idolized her. I learned everything I know about entertaining from her. Her hubby was a "bigwig" at Bristol Meyer Squibb and she had an AMAZING house. She was very down to earth and was always having a party or company over. She told me about the times she entertained when she did not have the ideal entertaining situation. She remembered taking a door off of it's hinges and setting the door on top of things to use it as a table. Her story gave me courage and made me realize it was not about how perfect your home was for entertaining it was about the conversation and the company.
Anyway, when something happened and their family needed meals I wanted nothing more than to take them a meal. They had done so much for my family. I agonized over every detail. I was not a good cook. (I really for all purposes still am not a good cook.) I finally decided on chicken bundles. (crescent rolls with a chicken/cream cheese mixture wrapped up inside) and I can not remember what else. I just remember the chicken bundles because after hours of agonizing I decided to cook them before I went to her house. She lived 25 minutes away and I realize now that families with older kids do not eat at 5 but I was there promptly at 5 with the already cooked chicken bundles. I am sure they were cold by the time they ate them but she was very gracious and returned all my dishes that very night with a dessert-y item in the bottom of the bag.
Taking dinner to someone is no easy task. And I know we are all grateful when we are on the receiving end of dinner. But I know that some meals that stand out in our minds and we can remember them because they were done perfectly. There are so many things to think about. Whether to take the meal already cooked or not. How much to take? And then there is that little old issue of having disposable dishes on hand. I should know better after all these years of losing my dishes across America. But I NEVER have disposable dishes on hand. I keep meaning to get some. Many people have been a little shocked when they need a paper plate when at my house and discover I do not have any. Just for the record I do have napkins and plastic spoons in the house at this moment.
Anyway, I am still looking for the perfect meal to take. And the perfect containers to take it in. And the perfect amounts. And I feel horrible about the time that Brian threw out a meal that had been brought to us and ordered pizza. I have no idea what came over him and the children but they revolted against the third night of chicken and rice mixed together in a 9x13.
I think Taking Meals 101 should be a required class. Maybe even a YW value :)