Tips to Take a Meal on Short Notice

MAY 12, 2020  /  LINDSEY SHANTZ  / 

Tips to Take a Meal on Short Notice
We know many meal providers plan far in advance and deliver a meal that was thoughtfully prepared. Other times we see those who are amazing at fulfilling a last-minute need or request --- and they seem to do it with ease!
Whatever your level of confidence or cooking ability, we want to help you be ready when a friend or loved one is suddenly in need of meals.
We've gathered these tips to help you feel organized and equipped to provide a meal on short notice.
Shop from your pantry
You probably have more ingredients and complete meals within your pantry than you realize. Check out this resource to turn your pantry staples into a complete meal.
A few items I recommend to stock are:
  • Olive oil and other cooking oils
  • Basic spices and herbs
  • Dried beans and pasta
  • Canned tomatoes and sauce
  • Chicken broth and stock
  • Canned tuna and chicken
  • Flour and baking supplies
  • Brown and white rice
Schedule freezer meal cooking time
Having a meal in your freezer to pull out at a moment's notice takes a little more organization and thinking ahead, but it's possible. There are so many yummy freezer meal recipes that reheat well.
I would suggest scheduling monthly to make a few freezer meals for your family and someone else in need. Being intentional in this will easily prepare you to take a meal on short notice.
For meal ideas check out our tested freezer meal recipe section. You will love having a prepared freezer meal when your day has been hectic and your family is famished.
Stock your kitchen with meal taking containers
I always stock my kitchen with a pack of 30 Eco-Foil Pans from Costco that are reasonably priced. They are a convenient half size. Our website also has an insulated green tote that is perfect to transport meals.
I keep a variety of canning jar sizes on hand and find them perfect for soup, sauces and salad dressings plus transporting breakfast items like yogurt and granola. My preference is wide-mouth canning jars, but all are fine to use. I recently started using these plastic one-piece storage lids with my jars.
Set realistic expectations
In the past, I would pause before taking a meal on short notice if I didn't have a company-worthy meal to take. Now, I look for a way to meet the need (even if it's not what I would have planned). I find a way to make it work.
I've learned over the years to lower my expectations and that simple meals and food are most welcome. Simply showing up in a friend's time of need is what is most remembered. Some of my simple favorites to take are:
  • Rotisserie chicken cut into chunks
  • Roasted or baked sweet potatoes
  • Veggie tray with dip or hummus
  • Fresh fruit ready to serve
  • Whole wheat bread or rolls
  • Brownies (I stock my pantry with this triple chocolate brownie mix)
Support a local restaurant
If you prefer not to make a meal, now more than ever is the perfect time to support a local restaurant and send your friends a meal. Order directly from the restaurant if possible. Numerous restaurants have recently struggled during the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to support a small, local restaurant!
Whether a meal is homemade or ordered from a restaurant, it comes from the same place --- your heart in helping others.
Do you have any tips for providing a meal on short notice? We'd love to hear from you.

Read other recent articles by Lindsey Shantz:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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