For The Mending
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist
Years ago when our youngest son, then age 4, was
hospitalized for nearly two months, we survived thanks to the kindness of
church members, neighbors and friends who brought food.
I still remember so appreciatively what a help it was.
They often brought lasagna. Finally, one night our
5-year-old said, “Not salagna again!” We had to laugh and, in our
family, lasagna has been nothing but salagna ever since.
Once again, we have been treated more kindly than we
deserved as I am operating on one wing for a bit (the right one, and I am
right-handed). I am incredibly
grateful for the gifts of food. My husband is especially grateful because he
had to take over kitchen duties — not his favorite thing.
My daughter said, “Mom, why don’t you write about
what help food gifts are when people have some kind of physical problem?”
I decided she had a good idea. She is a geriatric nurse practitioner and
particularly tuned in to the difficulties of aging folks (like her mother!).
I was truly touched by the thoughtfulness of those who
are so busy, yet took time to bring us lovely meals or food contributions.
We were lucky — the offerings came in over time, not all at once. Here are
some things I learned that may help you do a similar good deed.
No one brought food in dishes that needed to be
returned. Thanks to the reasonable plastic containers so available now, we
don’t have to remember whose dish is whose.
A pasta salad was wonderful. It kept well and we
enjoyed it both as an entrée and as a “side.” I’m suggesting a
similar salad since our gift pasta salad was so good and a handy help.
Foods that can be frozen for later use are a plus. For
one very large casserole freezing worked well. A quart jar of soup made an
easy and good dinner for two. Some homemade cookies were much appreciated.
Our love of “sweets” was assuaged!
One friend brought “Chicken Piccata” that was just
delicious. Elise Hughes says she created the recipe herself. We enjoyed it
with rice, with pasta and, finally, with the drippings served over a baked
potato. She brought a lot!
“Chicken Chalupas” were the contribution of Jane
Hostetler. They also were delicious.
We know these were good “gift” foods, but don’t
wait until you or a friend is sick to try them out!
Directions: In a large bowl, combine soup, sour cream,
green onions, chilies and olives. Stir in Monterey Jack cheese. Remove 2
cups of mixture to another bowl and set aside. Add chicken pieces to
remainder. Spread 1⁄2 cup chicken mixture down the center of each
tortilla, roll, leaving ends open. Place in prepared dish. Repeat until
filling is used. Spread with remaining sauce mixture over tortillas and
sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Bake
for 40 minutes until hot and bubbly. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Since this makes quite a quantity, you may want to make
two portions in separate containers.