A few weeks ago, my friend underwent a kidney transplant. Her mother-in-law took care of their kids for a few weeks while her husband stayed with her near the hospital. A friend sent out an email organizing meals for the family (via Take Them a Meal) and it got me thinking about my favorite meal I bring to friends in need.
I found this dish years ago in The Quick Recipe (a fantastic cookbook) and I’ve been making it ever since. Usually a family needing meals is overwhelmed with lasagna and Italian food, so I like to bring something different. I got my oldest daughter involved in the preparation and we had a wonderful time talking and laughing and cooking – and serving others. I’m hopeful we can teach our children the importance of looking beyond ourselves and putting other people’s needs first. It’s not an easy task and one with which I constantly struggle, but it’s a goal. Not just for me, but for the entire family. In fact, whenever my kids are arguing, I ask them, “Are you putting your sister’s needs and desires above your own?” The answer is always “no,” but the argument usually ends and hugs get passed around.
Making a meal for someone takes a little time, and usually means you make two dinners in one day, but it’s always worth it to see the grateful look in the recipients’ eyes when dinner arrives. You can make Lemon Chicken with Rice with one pot and one baking dish so it cuts down on the mess and amount of work. I serve it with a mixed green salad – just cut open the top of the bag of greens and pour in lots of freshly chopped vegetables then close the bag up with a clip. The dressing is a simple squeeze of lemon, a few tablespoons of olive oil, some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Dessert is chocolate creams – a creamy and rich dessert prepared in the blender.
My friend returns home today and continues to recover from her surgery. Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to help with some more whole, unprocessed food, prepared with love.