Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Works for me Wednesday

Yes, this is the same WFMW tip I posted last week, but I've had some people ask me about it so I'm running it again. I've also added a few steps at the end to make it even easier to keep up with!

Here's the scenario. Someone you know has a new baby or surgery or maybe both and you are asked if you'd like to fix a meal for that person and their family. I don't know about you, but I immediately freeze up and can't think of a single meal I could make. I forget I even know how to cook. I tell the person, "I'll call you and let you know." Then I pore over all my cookbooks, second guess myself and, eventually, never make the call.

I now have a solution. This idea came from another chef friend of mine and I'm just getting around to implementing it, but so far it's working.

I have been keeping a list of meals that my family likes and that friends have said they like and also some generally simple meals that anyone would like. I've taken that list and formed a menu that the new mom/surgery patient can order from. Here's my version...

Sorry it's so small. If you click on it, you can see it better.

Anyway, I will take this menu and give it along with my gift, at the person's baby shower and they can fill it out and mail it back in the self addressed, stamped envelope. That way, they don't have to think about it again. When that sign-up sheet comes around to me, all I have to do is pick the day that works best for me and start cooking! (If you're doing this for some other reason, it's not hard to adapt it to the situation.)

Update: I don't have a printer right now so I haven't been able to do this yet, but my plan is to get a binder notebook and keep copies of the menu sheets in the side pocket along with self-addressed stamped envelopes and in the binder part, have all the recipes and their list of ingredients printed out and in order so when I get that menu returned to me with a meal selected, I can just go to that menu, make my list, and get started! It might also be a good idea to put a tab in the back of the binder and keep those menu's for future reference. If you evey want to make dinner for that person again in the future, you can surprise them and know that they will love what you made because they picked it out!

And that, my friends, is what works for me!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pam, I love this idea. I'm all about preparing meals that the family likes and hasn't already recieved. I also tell my SS class to deliver the dishes in disposable containers so they don't have to worry about getting the dishes back to everyone. I think I will try this with my S.S. class next time they need help. You're the best!!!
Mom

Ashlee said...

That is a great idea! I'm totally going to steal it.

I think this will "work" for lots of people!

Heart of Wisdom said...

You are so smart, Thanks for sharing this,

Robin@heartofwisdom.com
http://www.heartofwisdom.com/heartathome/

High in Demand said...

This is you at your best! This is a fantastic idea!!!! What a perfectly great idea! I always get intimated when I'm cooking for others. I'm not sure what they would like or what they've been getting too much of. This would solve it all.

My menu wouldn't be as tantalizing as yours, but at least I would know what to send!

Genius!

I would have a very hard time choosing between the chicken fried steak and the tortilla soup!

Man, I just love this idea!

Is the envelope pre-stamped and addressed? That would make it complete!

I’m VERY IMPRESSED!

Innocent Observer said...

Great idea. It can be hard for the recipient as well to figure out what they might like. Having a menu like that would make it much easier for them too!

I love the self addressed stamped envelope. Even when someone offers to cook sometimes it can be hard to say yes; your idea makes it so easy.

Good thinking!

Pamelotta said...

"Is the envelope pre-stamped and addressed?"

You know it is baby!

I actually haven't got to officially try it out yet as I have no printer, but I gave Francesca the run down and she picked fajita's so fajita's it was!

Linds said...

Great idea! I've never thought of anything like this.

Thanks for sharing!

Aunt LoLo said...

What a great idea!!!! Really, obviously, you're a great cook if you can put all those options out there. :-)

I think, in the first line, it should read, "Congratulations on your new _addition_" (not edition :-)...unless their family pictures are published like magazines every time they have a new baby? Ooh...now, that might be fun!)

Pamelotta said...

Oooooh,good eye! I'm one of those people that spell checks everything that I see so I'm kind of glad you caught that before one of my friends did! They're just waiting for me to make a mistake!

I did really mean to say "addition." Although, you're right, it could be funny if the new mom were a magazine editor!

trish said...

beauty of simple brilliance!

Tricia said...

What a fabulous idea! I think I'll be emailing it... but still the same idea... Usually the new mama and family get whatever I'm making for my fam, but I really like the idea of them getting to pick what they'd like. Works for me!

FrazzMom said...

Fabulous! I'm forwarding this link to the meals coordinator at our church!

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

Fantastic! You could even enclose it in a shower gift so they'd have something in their freezer all ready for them (in case baby comes early).

I'm also imagining an online form with links to photos, ingredients, and nutrition information. Apparently the designer in me hasn't worked enough this week! :)

Hadias said...

This is an awesome tip. I have a friend who is three months pregnant and this would be great to give to her.

Thanks for sharing.

ames said...

That is sooooo awesome! Can you be one of my friends when I have a baby??

Pamelotta said...

Sure, but it might take me a while to get it to you!

The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino said...

Great tip!!!! Even though I love to cook, I always blank out when I need to fix a meal for someone else.

Dawn said...

I love this idea.. I'm going to share it with my church!

Crafty P said...

fabulous idea!

I did something similiar to this as a gift to one of my girlfriends. She's giving me a babysitting night and I'm making her dinner a couple of times!

Brenda M Becker said...

you know by the quantity of comments that this must be done