Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Gift of Food

My brother and his wife were recently blessed with their first baby. I think I have mentioned before that  in situations where people are in need, I feel the best thing I can do for them is bring food. So, here I go.

We're going to visit them tomorrow, and while they said it is okay for us to stay with them, I insisted that I would bring food and cook meals while we're there, so they're not trying to 'entertain' while also trying to deal with the challenges of a new baby. It's enough that they are willing to tolerate my rambunctious boys while coping with baby.

I spent today doing some make-ahead ingredients to take along, as well as making a second attempt at crabapple jelly. The first attempt turned out to be crabapple syrup. I'm happy to say the second try is setting up nicely. I also made a big pot of Indonesian sweet potato and cabbage soup from Moosewood's Simple Suppers. I have delivered this to other families during major life events and it has always garnered rave reviews. It's also super healthy, vegan, and easy to throw together.

Then came a brief interlude involving an appointment with our financial planners, dinner at Thien Vietnamese Restaurant (I believe I will sing the praises of Vietnamese cabbage salads very soon), and a brief shopping trip to try to find some clothes that a)fit; b)do not have stains or holes; c)are appropriate for work in an office, since I will be starting a new contract on Monday. My hubbie and kids went to River Landing to play while I shopped. I met up with them only to discover G with a bloody nose and D with a big bruise on his knee from slipping on the wet concrete. I actually worked on the water play area when it was being designed, and it's hard not to feel responsible for slick concrete...even though all I was truly responsible for was the research and writing...

But I digress. I came home, put kids to bed, and promptly started making the ingredients for other meals:
• pizza dough, enough to make grilled pizza tomorrow night, and leave some in the freezer for them to use as needed
• pancake mix (I mixed together all the dry ingredients for my famous buckwheat pancakes, and will also bring along homemade elk breakfast sausage, enough that we can leave some behind for them to cook later). We'll be serving it all topped with crabapple syrup!
• black olive tapenade to fill a Pan Bagnat, a filled sandwich that traditionally includes tuna, black olives, and vegetables. I'm going to see what everyone is in the mood for, what is in the garden, and what I can find at the farmers' market, and go from there. Definitely goat cheese and tapenade, for starters...

Hopefully we'll all eat well while we're there, it will be one less thing for my brother and sister-in-law to worry about, and we can leave them with the makings of some great future meals...

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