I have very distinct memories of the gesture of bringing meals to friends and family from early in my childhood. I know we received them from time to time, especially around the birth of my youngest sister, but my most vivid recollections were bringing them to people. Because as the third kid, I was always “along for the ride”.
I’ll preface this by saying my mom was not a great cook. I mean no disrespect, I think she would probably agree. But lasagna was her “go to” support meal. I was a picky eater and I loathed lasagna night at our house; picking and scraping at the noodles, dissecting it until it was unrecognizable but palatable (to me). One family in particular we would bring lasagna dinner to regularly. They were family friends of my parents through the ARC program as one of their two sons had a disability, but I personally didn’t know them well, except from when we delivered the meals.
The Mother of the family was being treated for breast cancer when we first started bringing meals and after she passed away we continued. I recall thinking a lot about how hard it must be for this family to cope with such a devastating loss, yet they were always so friendly and happy and welcoming when we would visit. I remember the Dad once praising my Mom when we walked in with what he called her “world famous” lasagna. I was too young to understand if he was teasing, it seemed sincere and I cringed to think they loved eating this huge pan of lasagna over and over again when I personally hated it. She accepted the compliment graciously, playing it off by saying “it’s just the recipe on the noodle box”...true story, it was in fact the recipe from the box, over-cooked noodles, a jar of Ragu with unseasoned ground beef, some ricotta cheese lumps and a modest amount of shredded mozzarella layered and then baked until borderline burnt.
I understand now as an adult that regardless of if they actually enjoyed or even ate the meals we brought, it was the gesture that was being recognized more than the food and that perhaps our presence and the distraction it provided from their very difficult daily reality likely meant more than the meal itself.
Regardless, it is from these memories that the product we created for Support Suppers was developed. It is why you will NEVER see lasagna or chili or meatloaf on our menu. Ohhhh, people still call and tell me they just want to send a pot pie to someone. Sorry friends, we don’t do that here. But we will send your folks a delicious, well-rounded, complete meal, prepared with love.
As we head into our 3rd year, I wanted to thank you again for all of your Support, (and understanding of my childhood culinary baggage). 😉 Happy Mother’s Day and 70th Birthday to my own, “lasagna-master”, Mother and to all of the other Mother’s out there making this world go round!