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Help from my Spark Friends

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hello Spark Friends.

The worst thing ever happened while I was on vacation and now I need some help/advice. Warning-the story is sad :(.

When I got back from vacation on Tuesday, Jan 4th I found out that one of my co-workers and friend had just lost her baby boy on December 23rd :(. He was just 10 months old. We are a pretty close work group (7 people total). When I got in to work a co-worker (Josh) told me so that I wouldn't accidentally ask how her vacation was. I inquired as to what had been do so far (cards, flowers etc.) and nothing had. I think she asked there to be no formal announcement to the overall group (~50 people). So later that same day Josh and I went out and got flowers and a card, we needed to do something and our immediate boss hadn't done anything yet. Our little group of 7 all signed the card.

I also went and talked to her letting her know if she needs anything I'm here for her. But I really want to do more.

During our small group meeting (she was no in attendance) we asked our boss what we should do. Most of us are American, the boss and mother are Chinese, so we wanted to be aware of any cultural specifics. Our boss said we could bring in food for her to take home since she isn't really cooking. At home there is her, her 3 year old daughter, her husband, her sister, and her sister's son (also 3 years old).

Now to what i need help with:
I want to make the family a food that is easy to eat/reheat, holds up well, is kid friendly, and travels well.
I know the husband only eats Chinese food, but I can't really cook Chinese so I'm not going to let that stop me from making something.
I know the mother and daughter are not lactose intolerant (they both like cheese!).

Also if you have any other ideas, suggestions, anything please pass them along.

Thank you all so much!


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So today over lunch I went to a little Chinese place that i have been to a few times in the past. I worked with the waitress there to get a variety of foods that would work for the family and took them to my co-worker. Hopefully this will make this horrible time a little less labor intensive and let her know we are thinking about her.

    Thank you for you help spark friends!

    3486 days ago
    Hey Loren,

    It is wonderful that you are doing something so practical, and so helpful; I don't think it will matter all that much to them what you bring, as much as you are taking the time to do this for them.

    I don't have any chinese food recipes, but Greg's idea is great; also, a friend used to give us gift certificates for restaurants that we liked, that can help too.

    Not sure what to suggest to help; but this, as always, just reflects what a wonderful person you are. Hope her pain eases a little, that is an unimaginable hurt.
    3489 days ago
  • GHK1962
    Hey Loren ~

    I am sorry to hear about your co-worker. And...what you are trying to do is extremely nice.

    A lot of Chinese food has veggies in them, and I've found that while they may keep in the fridge ok...freezing and defrosting is another story.

    The one thing that I can think of that they all may eat are hum bao...the little bread dumplings with filling. They are individual foodstuffs...travel well, freeze and defrost well, kids love them, and you can pretty much fill them with anything (port, chicken, veggies, even cheeseburger filling for the kidlet if you want).

    Downside, while making them is easy...it does take time as the dough needs to rise a bit before steaming or baking. Here's a website that has some recipes that I have tried that works. Again, it does take time. (But it is tasty...I've made the recipe I have in the link).

    I tend to either put chicken or grilled veggies in mine. If you make a variety I found that if you use a little bit of food coloring (with some water added) and make a dot on the top of the dough...you then have a sort of color key code. I tend to make about 2 or 3 different ones as the dough allows for you to make about 12 - 15 buns. (I use a green dot = veggies, red = chicken, and plain for when I try whatever else I stuff in them.) Oh....if you do try this, whatever you stuff it with should be slightly moist.

    By the way, you can also buy them frozen at a local Asian market is my guess too.

    Ok...onto non-Chinese stuffs.

    Since you are being nice and making food...perhaps whatever you cook will work. I have helped do this for co-workers myself...and the feedback we got was that it was nice to have them individually wrapped for single meals. Since it's a family you are doing this for, likely that means single family sized meals?

    Also...there are businesses throughout the country that specializes in this type of food preparation. However, they are also normally on the spendy side. A group of us once all chipped in on something like this. I can't recall the cost...but I know it was fairly pricey to do a weeks worth of dinners for a single person. Here is a typical business (attached website)


    This is just one such site...there are other similar businesses out there. I did a search and there is a Dreamdinners location in Indianapolis. You can do a zip code up in the corner of this page to see how close it is to you.

    I know there's not a lot of actual recipes here for you...but hope it helps...and you are such a great person for doing this.
    3495 days ago
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