If last year’s goal was to become less self-conscious about bringing dinner to another family, this year is about efficient transport and presentation.
I can only work on one area at a time. In about five more years, I should have this thing down!
Anyway, in my opinion (and having been blessed enough to be on the receiving side of many meals), the greatest gift I can give the recipient is that of non-returnable containers. Now, on the one hand, there is the idea that washing and returning a Pyrex or two is not that big of a deal. Agreed. Well, for normal people, but I find it ridiculously stressful, mostly because I’m a terrible borrower; my home is a black hole. However, not washing a foil container (or washing and shelving a reuseable jar) is even easier, and it still looks nice. Lately, my dinners of choice have been soup and a loaf of bread. The soup goes in a Mason jar, and the bread — thanks to the magic of Pinterest* — goes in its own bag.
Fancy, right? In the interest of full disclosure, it did take me longer than five minutes to sew up the bag, but not much. This is a SUPER quick project, it dresses up the meal nicely, and it can be washed and reused/re-gifted. But here’s another tip I’ll give you for free: Let the people know they don’t need to return the bag/jar/whatever, or they will very sweetly go to the trouble of washing and returning all of it. Yes, over and over again, amid my stumbling, awkward drop-off, I forget to tell my friends this and back it all comes.
I meant well. I can only hope they weren’t thinking, “Geez, did she have to individually wrap every blasted thing?” as they boxed it all back up.
Along that same vein, here’s another thing I’ll tell you: If you’ve brought me meals in the past, you’ve probably figured out that you’re not getting your GladWare back. I assume it’s meant to be disposable, you know? And then…I keep getting mine back. Oops. Just me, huh? You’ll note that I’m not talking about Pyrex or Tupperware, here; I’m not an animal, after all.
Oh, and here’s a beautifully written post about preparing meals for your family and others. It was such an encouragement to me — hope it is to you, too!
Updated to add: OK, so I dropped off tonight’s meal, and totally forget to mention that the jars and stuff didn’t need to be returned. Oy.
*Yeah, I resisted the lure of Pinterest as long as I could, but now that I’ve succumbed, I love it so much! So many ideas! So easy to find them again! But I can’t stand the idea of them just sitting on those boards gathering cyberdust, so I’ve been trying to put all of that wonderful inspiration and instruction to use. The bread bag was Exhibit A of what I call a Pintastic Project.