Sunday, February 23, 2014

Making Meals For Others--Overcoming A Long Held Fear

One of My Kitchen Helpers

I cook dinner for my family almost every single night.  I make almost all of our food from scratch.  I invite people over to my house and serve them the food I make.  I haven't killed anyone yet.  As far as I know, I haven't even given someone food poisoning.  Yet, there is something about making meals for other people that I give to them to eat at their house that has left me almost paralyzed for pretty much my entire married life.

When people have babies, you won't find me signing up to bring them a meal.  When people have surgery and are out of commission for a while, you won't find my name on the meal list.  I will watch your kids, I will drive your kids around, but meals???  No thanks!

The first time I ever made a meal for someone is forever etched in my mind--I made a chicken and stove top stuffing casserole.  I delivered it raw.  RAW!!!  No side dishes.  Nothing.  Just a casserole full of raw chicken.  I hope the mom threw it away.  I still shake my head over this.  My only excuse is that I was 21 years old and single.  I could barely cook anyway, and I had no clue, none at all, what someone should bring to a family that just had a baby.

My other few attempts were only a slight improvement.  I did actually deliver cooked food.  With side dishes.  But I hated every moment of it and was filled with dread the entire time.  About 8 years ago I decided I was done with this torture and never did it again until this past summer.  A friend had a baby, but my friend has a gluten allergy, so she said we could just send ingredients that she would cook in her own house using her own pans.  So I sent her a bag of ingredients.  No cooking involved.

But then about a month ago a friend had surgery and I watched her child while she recovered and her husband was at work.  Those two days of watching her child, I decided that I would make more dinner than necessary and send some home with them.  That wasn't so hard.

Then another friend has been having a difficult pregnancy and has three young kids.  The Lord impressed on me that I needed to make meals for her family.  Three meals.  Oye.  Lord, you have NO IDEA what You are asking!!!

Yet, I obeyed.  I bought stuff to make lasagna, meatloaf, and chicken chimichangas.  The girls and I cooked it all up in about an hour yesterday.  We browned meat, made sauce, boiled pasta, rolled burritos, and formed meat into a loaf.  As I packaged all the food into disposable pans, I felt pretty proud of our meals.  As if they might actually taste good and not kill anyone.  Like they were real offerings and not a punishment.

I won't say that I suddenly now love making meals for other people, but I will say that it's not as bad as it used to be.  I might even do it again.  One day.  At least, I probably won't run screaming in the other direction when someone comes near me with a meal sign up sheet.

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