Sunday, October 16, 2011

It’s an Ambush!

This morning at church, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile–she’s been out of commission since having some fairly serious surgery.  Today marked the first time in several weeks that she was well enough to join our church family for worship.  Lisa is one of my favorite people, always full of brightness and positive energy.  She’s the sort of person who makes me glad that I started going to church again, after a 20-year hiatus.

Today, on my way back from the communion rail, I gave Lisa a Welcome Back pat on the shoulder.  Then, back in our pew, I leaned over and whispered to The Hubs “I really need to make Lisa a casserole.”  After church, I asked her if she’d be home later in the afternoon.  And thus, a plan of attack was born.

My friend Beth, who blogs over at Chronic Mom Says, calls the delivery of food during difficult times a Food/Love Ambush. I know I’ve benefited from a hefty dose of food/love on more than one occasion–after the births of my children, for instance, and more recently, after my dad passed away.  (Beth herself gifted me with a gorgeous fruit salad, and a card that read “If the fruit could speak, it would say Your friends are here for you.“)

But these days, when so few people make their own meals at home, food/love is harder to come by.  Add to this the fact that we seem to live in our own private bubbles–listening to our own private music on our iPods, or talking on our own private cell phones, usually while driving around in our own private cars–and it’s sometimes difficult to even take note of when others are in need of our support.

Is it possible to show the food/love when you don’t consider yourself much of a cook?  Of course it is.  You can deliver a favorite take-out meal, or a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, or even some lovely baked goods from the grocery store.  When someone is going through a rough patch, any and all gestures of support are welcome.  But there’s something uniquely personal about a home-made gift of food.  It tells the recipient that you cared enough to take the time to assemble the necessary ingredients, measure, chop, grate, and do whatever else was required to make sure the person you love is well fed.

If you know someone who could use a good dose of food/love, here are a few suggestions:

1.  King Ranch Chicken Casserole.  Assemble the recipe as directed, then cover the casserole in aluminum foil and deliver it to its intended recipient with baking instructions.  (It can also be frozen for later use; just double the baking time.)  This is what I made for my friend today.  It’s easy, cheesy, and almost impossible to mess up.

2.  Swedish Meatballs.  Super easy to reheat in the microwave, and they can be served with almost anything.

3.  Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup.  Soup is comfort food by definition–plus, it reheats easily on the stovetop or in the microwave.

4.  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.  For some reason, the food/love ambush almost always involves dinner food, but what about breakfast?  Your loved ones have to eat in the morning, too.  I included a dozen of these muffins in today’s ambush, just for good measure.

5.  Apple Galette.  Nothing says food/love like a pie, and an apple galette is the easiest pie in the world–one crust, a rustic shape, a handful of apples, and a sprinkle of sugar on top.  Stop off at the grocery store on your way to deliver the galette and buy a pint of ice cream to take your food/love to the next level.

I enlisted the help of the Foodie children to complete today’s ambush, on the theory that bright young faces are good medicine for anyone on the mend. And they were surprisingly willing to help, which leads me to think that the food/love ambush might be a tradition they carry forward on their own.   If that’s my Foodie legacy in their adult lives, I’ll be one very happy mama.


One Response to “It’s an Ambush!”

  1. 1

    Chronic Mom — October 16, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    Spreading the Gospel, one food/love ambush at a time!

Leave a Comment