Saturday, October 13, 2007

Not For Breakfast

Thursday was that crazy morning filled with Bugs Bunny and a tired little chap we call Sulli.
Thursday was ALSO the day that I prepared dinner for a family on the next block.

The mom had surgery on Tuesday-nothing major, just some painful sinus repair-so I spoke with some other moms on that block that are part of our growing "coffee club" to see if they'd be able to help provide Cathy and her family with a meal a night. I said to the moms, "what's the one thing that we could totally had when we've been sick, or recovering from surgery, AS A MOM...Meals!"

So each mom from our group provided our friends with a meal a night. We called it, "ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY MEALS FOR MOMMIES." For those of you not quite at that parental level yet, let me explain something to you from a moms point of view: When you're sick-and you're a mom-nothing is harder to do than care for your children. Some of us are lucky and have family fly in, or come by, but not all of us are that blessed. When moms have surgeries, that's even more difficult for the entire family. When mom is done the entire family goes down.
It could be as "simple" as gallbladder removal surgery. There still is recovery, there still is no lifting guidelines, there are required rest guidelines, and there is still an incredible amount of pain to overcome afterwards. But, remember, not all of us are lucky to have people knocking down the door to get the kids out of our hair, to make meals, to clean other moms homes.

The one thing every mommy could use, and please remember this even if you yourself are not a mom yet, is food. Hopefully these ideas will open up your eyes to the mommies that are in your life and perhaps you may be willing to do more for them.

I'd like to hope.

I'm not saying mommy needs food to eat herself and drown her painful recovery sorrows as she wipes tears from her eyes with her chickenbreast while watching 'THE THORNBIRDS' on her DVD set. I'm saying to help ease the mom over her transitional hump during the recovery period, is to provide that family with one meal-say, supper!

Supper/Dinner is the hardest meal for any mom. Maybe I'm wrong, but in my world it's rather challenging, Suppertime. Not just the preparations, but what's going on in between. The children by that time-4:00pm- are quite tired, they themselves are approaching that time period when things just tend to fall apart. Some people refer to these hours as the bewitching hours. Mix that with a poor mom having had surgery and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster.

TIP: Even if you have a superhero for a husband, it's not fair to have him prepare the meals for the children every night. Even if he's willing. The more pressure that is put on Dad while Mom is recovering, the more stressed dad may be with the children, and then, most likely, the less he'll have time to help out mom. No matter how tough of a mom you are, you must allow your husband to "help you" recover. If he's cooking all the meals, than he's going to be less likely to race the kids out of the house to go play somewhere, so that you may have some peaceful moments of sleep. He'll be too zonked himself from the suppertime Mayhem routine.
I'm telling you, there's something in the mix when supper time preparations come about. It can suck the energy out of the best chef in the world when there are children twitching and bewitching around you.

Any mom recovering from a surgery regardless of how minimalistic the surgery was, could use a meal provided by another helpful family. I can't tell you how much easier life is when a mom knows that supper is on it's way over. Dad has more time to dote on the children or help them with their homework, or tend to his wife-and he's not in the kitchen frustrated because the kids are crying out different requests for supper: "VOLCANO EGGS!" "HAYSTACKS!!" "M&MS!!" "BREAKFAST PIE!" "Ho-HO's!" "SuperSweetStrawberryMilk!!"

It may be a humbling experience. It may take time getting used to people helping each other out. It may be awkward at first for dads to begin eating a meal cooked in some other family's home. What if you don't like what they brought over?

CAN IT, you twit!

Remember, this isn't about you. This is about the mommy/mom laying upstairs in her room knocked out with Darvocets. This is about the mom that is laying on the couch staring glassy eyed at the TV as BUGS BUNNY gnaws away at his carrot.

Mommy can relax because her sensors aren't heightened due to the raised security level of meal times. She can relax and recover because she is fully aware that everything is being taken care of in her family world. WHY? Because supper time is always the hardest time in mommy world. Mix surgery with that, or an illness and you have a nice recipe for stress and complete relapse.

So, we took it upon ourselves to make sure our friends/neighbors/block away people had a meal for every night beginning this past Tuesday up to Friday night.

Thursday was my night to bring over a meal.
I could go the easy way, run to BOSTON MARKET, pick up the family pack and waaallaaaa! Presto, here you go, enjoy your dinner.

Or, I could make a nice simple meal, make a nice effort for the family, because I remember what it's like to have surgery and still have meals to make. Not a simple task.

I began my cooking for the family of 5 at 1pm Thursday. To make it simple I planned a meal for 10 people so that I would have supper for our own family as well as for the family in need.

1pm found me in my kitchen as Sullivan and Benjamin lay sleeping in their beds for their afternoon nap. Preparing and browning the 6lbs of ground chuck to be placed in my crock pot- my sweet caramelized sloppy Joe's. (recipe given to me years back from DNUTZ and LAINE!!)

Next was the Corn Casserole that takes a minimum of an hour to bake and this dish I couldn't split up, so I made ours first, and then prepared the dish again to be baked for the family in need. Homemade cornbread followed, along with two different side salads, homemade vinegar dressing, and sugar cookies.

I finished everything by 4:45pm. Taking a brief break at 3:30 to run and get Jackson at school.
It wasn't that difficult as I had a nice flow of how things were prepared. I knew that the corn casserole in my white circular corning ware dish tastes best when first out of the oven, which is why I put their dish in after I baked one for my own family for dinner.(ha!!..make my kids eat the cold stuff!!-that's what microwaves are for!)

I knew that the cornbread should be cooked last because that too tastes divine when it's warm, when the crumbled Ritz Crackers on top of the casserole are browning from the lovely heat of a delicious sweet corn casserole on a 45degree Fall day. So there was an overlapping period when the corn bread and the corn casserole were in the oven at the same time.

When you're going to bring a meal to a family I would suggest to make it as easy for them as you can:
I put the sweet sloppy joes in a large Tupperware container. The two salads in their own Tupperware containers. (If you don't have extras laying around, and if you have the money to spend, you can buy three containers of Gladware for $3.40 at Walmart)
The corn casserole I obviously left in the corningware dish, covered it with aluminum foil, and then it's lid and put it in the mommovile for delivery. I wrote out the items that were prepared for the MOMMY in need, just so she'd know what she'd be telling her children to eat. When they began to delve into with their "little grubbie" fingers.

TIP: If you can, provide them with paper plates so then dad doesn't even have to do the dishes afterwards. Everything can be thrown away. Even the meal if they don't like it.

Back to how Thursday evening went:
After I'd finished preparing everything, while my older two boys were playing out in our front yard, I began loading up the car with the meal to bring it over to mommy in need by 5pm.
The boys digging in the mud with their neighbor friend and much older GIRL, Rachel, who I've written about before, and I am perfectly happy knowing that someday she'll be my daughter in law. (okay, yes, getting off the topic)

Trying this again,

The boys digging in the mud with Rachel, not wanting to leave their construction site. Her mom was across the street sitting outside on her front porch, so I ran across the street, and asked her if she'd quick watch my older boys while I ran over a meal to another families home and she was more than happy to sit with the boys.

Ben and I "suited up" and out we went for a quick drive around the block to mommy in needs home. Carrying in the meal for her, I gave her a brief explanation of what the meal was, I met her parents who'd stopped by to help out with the children, I said hi to the kids, said hi to husband and in less than 5minutes I was back home in my driveway.

What I was met with were two very excited boys, jumping up and down like they'd discovered gold. Only they hadn't discovered gold on their quest for digging the best manhole in our front yard landscaping, they'd discovered something else. Something that makes the summers past cicadas look like Tropicana models.

They found near my rose bushes, lots and lots of these things;

Lots of these nasty milky white looking things messing around in my dirt. Digging themselves deeper and deeper as the month moves colder, into the soil, to not emerge again until next April. They eat the tip of the roots of your grass, causing the grass to look like a 50lb dog pissed over the entire yard if there's enough of these Grubs. I don't know where the heck the came from, but from the googling researching I've done, apparently they love moisture, they love a yard that is constantly being watered, trimmed, manicured, grass cut short,(roots weaker according to one website) which would be my elderly neighbors home. They have their water sprinkler on all the time!

Unfortunately there's nothing I can really do now to get rid of them because they're deeper in the soil and the pesticides wouldn't' be able to penetrate the soil as well as my little gold diggers could. SO it wouldn't do much good to pay to have the yard treated as of yet. I'll just have to wait until March when they move up closer to the ground.

See? Even Grubs get to go into hibernation mode, but Mom in Crustyland begins another waiting game.

Welcome To Crustybeef~
To think we started talking about corn casserole and helping moms to only end with a tummy turning nasty looking wormie thing. I hope you're not reading this with your breakfast!Don't say I didn't warn you! Look at the title of this post for goodness sakes! :)


SOUL: said...

well... you had me all nice and hungry til i got to the grubs!!! thanks a lot crusty!

simonsays said...

What a wonderful thing for you to do, taking the time to make such a great meal. I am so impressed. That certainly was a labor of love and you deserve a huge pat on the back for it!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Oh gosh I HATE creepy crawly bugs...those grubs are so gross.

Nice job with the meal are an angel.

abbagirl74 said...

No, I read this post after I ate dinner. And no, I won't be eating the tapioca pudding for dessert now. Kidding. Boys are so funny. They love worms, mud, and squishy things, but get them around a pregnant woman when they get older and they pass out during delivery. Ah, boys.

Portia said...

crusty, i am not surprised at all, but that is so entirely sweet of you to help the mommy in need. i'm sure the special care means a lot. your group of helping moms reminded me of something i read about women (families) forming dinner groups. there would be 4 or 5 families in a group. eahc familiy cooks one night, enough for all of the other families and delivers it. then the other four nights of the week, a hot dinner is delivered to their family. it's not something i would do at the moment, but sounded like a good idea.
sorry to hear about the grubs. but i also remember digging in the mud! good memories:)
i hope you're having a great weekend:) surprise! i'm online:) YAY

SOUL: said...

crusteeee.... look...portia is HERE...on a saturday!!!!
light up!


WOOOO I'm not slighting anyone here and I will comment back to you guys later today..I just have to say, WOW! HEY GUYS LOOK! Portia was here on a Saturday!!
I'm smoking soul, I'm smoking! :)
How'd you manage this Dear P? SO cool!! FUnny, I just left you a comment in your blog on saturday wishing you'd surprise us...HA! Seriously, go look! Happy Saturday P!! :)
Did it feel "wierd" being online? :)

SOUL: said...

crusty... i think i know something you dont know hahahahaha


Soul: DO SHARE!DO SHARE!! :) here's my coffee...smokes not today.. :(

Cheryl said...

I'm just catching up. That's because you write so much, all good and thoughtful. I love that you bring meals to family's in need. It's just so thoughtful. I had surgery last year, and my sister from GA flew out and spent a week helping me. I don't know how I would have managed without her. I really was a little hurt that neighbors and coworkers didn't reach out, but that's life. You are a really great person.