Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dinner for new parents.

Okay, I do love to cook.  I admit that.  So I am on this list at our church to make meals for families in need.  Someone just had surgery, a new baby, whatever, we try to fill the void.  I don't think this makes me someone special, I feel I am repaying a debt.  I have four wonderful children , including a set of twins.  Every time we had a baby, or babies as the case may be, someone made us dinner.  What a relief.  There I was, no shower, no sleep, I could not even think to make a can of soup.  Dinner is always a wonderful, wonderful treat when someone else is cooking.

I have gotten some of my best recipes from dinners cooked for us.  Tater tot casserole.  So yummy, not incredibly good for you, but definitely a comfort food.  One neighbor made us home made spaghetti sauce.  Coming from the Irish/Pennsylvania dutch/English heritage, I had never had from scratch spaghetti sauce.  Except at Amy's house.  She was one of my grade school friends who remains today.  Her dad, God rest his wonderful soul, made sauce from scratch.  It was always amazing and he would not part with his secrets.  I actually craved it during one of my pregnancies, and if I remember right, he made me some.  Anything made by someone else's hand always seems to taste better.

I do have a couple of pieces of advice.  Try to stay away from pasta casseroles.  I know this seems the easiest, but if you are not making it from scratch, believe me, the family will get pasta.  You see, everyone goes to pasta, it is easy and transports well.  My sister was on bed rest for four months with her last child.  Her church arranged for meals five nights a week.  That is awesome and she was grateful.  She also did not eat any pasta dish involving red sauce for a good three years.  You can only take so much Ragu, even well intentioned Ragu. 

My second piece of advice is to go to the dollar store and buy foil pans.  If you are so sleep deprived you can't remember your own name, how are you supposed to remember whose tupperware is whose?  It is a scary thought.  Or, if you are like me, you just forget to give it back and turn into that neighbor who stole the corning ware.  If your children are around three and you cannot figure out where that pan came from, it is probably someone else's.  

So, if you like to cook, and like to feel good, I say sign up for that meal thing at church.  I don't make them every time a call goes out.  That is the beauty of the list, there are enough people on it, that you can choose a time when you actually have time to make a meal.  It is a wonderful gift to those who need it.

What was the nicest thing someone did for you when your baby was born?  Let me know.

God bless you and yours.

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