Monday, April 9, 2012

How to make a meal basket

With Molly and Jamie welcoming Hammond into the world, it gives us friends a chance to spoil the family with meals. You know, one of those necessities that seems tough to prepare what with diaper changes, feedings, fussy moments, endless time just staring at the little wonder, etc. etc. etc.

So Lindsay spearheaded the dinner assignments. And what a joy to prepare. I signed up for two dinners, spaced two weeks apart. And keep in mind, for those of us making dinners, our selfish motives might just involve being able to come to the house to spend time with mommy and baby.

My menu for this first dinner was Breakfast for Dinner.
 - Spinach, portabella mushroom, ham, onion and monterey jack quiche -
- Devon's "I've Died and Gone to Hevon" Shrimp and Grits -
- sliced tomatoes -
- poppy seed cake -
- OJ -

The quiche recipe is one from my sister that my mom made for a recent get-together and it's the bomb. My sister Beth says it's a Billy Ray Cyrus recipe, but I can't seem to find anything online connecting it to him. Perhaps, sissy, it was a dish from some other fave mulleted country crooner?

Devon served the shrimp and grits at an office event years ago, 
and to this day it is my hands-down most loved shrimp and grits recipe. 

I made sure to find really good tomatoes, not some mealy early-Spring excuses for tomatoes. 
These were superb with a lite dousing of salt and pepper.

And the poppy seed cake is a staple in most anything I bake for. It's one of those recipes I have that is handwritten from the gal who gave it to me, on a dog-eared recipe card. That, my friends, is a huge ingredient to what makes a recipe great . . . that it's lived on in its original state, spattered with water marks and folded one too many times, only to be used again with love.

I made the quiche in one of those oven-safe AND microwaveable containers. Easy for the mom to heat.
The grits I put into an aluminum loaf pan, not an option for microwaving, but with the loaf top, 
I was able to wrap the tomato slices and put them under the lid.

I included two plates, faux silverware, two pretty paper napkins 
and silk hydrangea in a ball jar (from Molly's baby shower dessert "scale"). 
I lined the basket (from Michaels) with a scrap of fabric.

You definitely want to label everything, especially if the couple decides to freeze 
or hold off on eating the meal for a few days. 
Because my items needed to be refrigerated and I was afraid of the containers sweating on the transport, I made labels using the inserts from ball jar lids. Cutting circles from scrapbook paper (with pinking shears), I then wrote the menu items on the paper and glued them to the lid inserts. 
Adhered them to the food items with heavy duty packing tape. 
By doing this I was assured that ink wouldn't run and paper wouldn't accordian with moisture.

There is something about presenting a meal with care and love that translates into 
caring about and loving the recipients.


Ashley said...

This is just adorable!

I miss those grits...

I got some perf tomatoes from the Marietta Square Farmer's Market this past weekend.

I can't wait to meet Baby H!

DTPfromATL said...

So glad the legacy lives on. Viva la Heavy Cream! ;)

Molly Hargather said...

seriously, the most amazing presentation yet! and the food was pretty yummy, too. :)

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