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The insanity of cooking suppers for someone who had a baby
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:33 am
amother wrote:
My freezer is full of raw food. I buy it in bulk. Not everyone has previously cooked food in their freezer.
When I buy a case of chicken, I'll clean a bunch of it in advance and then freeze. That way it's pretty simple to bake a pan of chicken and rice, for example. I also buy packs of frozen meat, and prepare meatballs in pans, meatloaf, etc...and freeze raw. I take chicken breast and chop up in containers with marinade ingredients and freeze raw, ready for a quick stir-fry with frozen veggies like snap peas or stringbeans and canned baby corn and/or mushrooms - add spaghetti for lo-mein.

This probably belongs in a meal prep thread, though....but it's the type of prep I do at various times in my life when I know I'm going to want easy access to quick meals.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:35 am
Maya wrote:
My question is why these women, who have nine months to prepare for this occasion, don't cook ahead and freeze dinners to be used during the postpartum period. I'm asking a serious question. That's one thing I don't understand about this whole issue.
Not everyone has a big enough freezer to freeze things for that long. I for one have no room to ever freeze food if I have frozen uncooked chicken in it.
So please dont assume anything.
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MiracleMama




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:35 am
amother wrote:
Some families won't eat frozen food. Mine won't.


Wont eat frozen food? This is fresh food, just frozen. Not TV dinners. When you reheat it, it tastes just the same as fresh. If it was served to you and you didn't know it came from the freezer, you would never be able to tell. If your family can tell, then you're freezing it wrong or reheating it wrong.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:41 am
shoshanim999 wrote:
So a woman in my neighborhood had a baby almost 3 weeks ago. I was asked to make supper for her family around a week ago and of course I did. I was also careful to keep up with everybody else who was making these ridiculously outlandish multi course meals that would be fit for a king and would undoubtedly result in tons of leftovers. So around an hour ago I get a phone call asking if I can make supper again next week. Are you kidding??? First of all the who idea of making supper is to show that you are thinking of the person and to be friendly. In reality her husband can go to any of the 50 take out stores in the neighborhood and buy supper starting day one. I understand its nice to show you care and to make supper for the family, but why does everybody insist on making these suppers that I see people posting on facebook? Does anybody really need that much food? Also, 3 weeks later we are still making suppers??? Enough already!!!
OP, nobody is forcing you to cook for anyone. I really dont understand these posts. I really dont. Who is making you make anything? When, and if, I cook for a post partum woman or any other person, I am doing it because I want to. I sometimes (many times) say I cant. And nobody needs to know why I cant, I just cant.
But who the heck is making 3 course amazing meals? I have never seen that in my life. We give (and receive) things like lasagna/ziti, chicken with rice, meatballs and either a container of salad or cut veggies.
Sometimes its very nice to have a home cooked meal after birth and maybe the husband works till after the time that the other children (if there are any) eat so having a ready made dinner is nice.
All I can say is that my daughter was born early and was in the hospital for two weeks. My community, where we had moved into 6 months earlier, came together and made us dinners for two weeks. It was so thoughtful of them. It was so lovely to come home and not have to think about making something and even having to go and get take out or order in. People usually do these things because they want to. And you do not have to make a lavish meal to keep up with the cohens. Just make what you want to make. And only do it when and if you want to and can. This is not something to do that will make you resent doing it. I hardly do it anymore. I just cant (for a number of reasons) and I never feel bad when I say no.
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sky




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:48 am
At 3 weeks I would start wondering if everything is okay. It may be something you don't know about (PPD, bad recovery, something wrong, etc).

I've heard of communities were people stopped wanting to cook PP meals because of the pressure and guidelines were set for meals.

Soup (Optional)
Main Protein Dish
Starch
Vegetable or Salad (or if including a soup I think this became optional).

Because of these guidelines it became less of a hassle to send meals and try to out do the other.


Last edited by sky on Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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pesek zman




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:51 am
sky wrote:
At 3 weeks I would start wondering if everything is okay. It may be something you don't know about (PPD, bad recovery, something wrong, etc).

I've heard of communities were people stopped wanting to cook PP meals because of the pressure and guidelines were set for meals.

Soup (Optional)
Main Protein Dish
Starch
Vegetable or Salad (or if including a soup I think this became optional).

Because of these guidelines it became less of a hassle to send meals and try to out do the other.


Tell me what communities needed to set guidelines on making post partum meals so I know not to move there!
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sky




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:52 am
(I think I heard Chofetz Chaim of Kew Garden Hills)

Personally I'd rather serve my family fish sticks, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, store bought waffles, frozen breaded tilapia, mac & cheese and other semi-ready or quick foods then take dinners from others. I know what a pain it is to think what to send, cook, get it packaged and deliver it, always taking my other kids along for the car ride.
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thunderstorm




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:00 am
OP, you have to learn that a chesed is not a chesed if it makes you resentful....it is better to say "I'm sorry , right now I'm not able to do it"...
I am someone who gratefully received meals and is someone when I was able and available loved to make meals for PP women.
I would usually make the same dinner for my family just double it....I gave a main, side, soup, salad and a small desert (sometimes just a few chocolate chip cookies). I never felt the need to keep up with the Joneses or even ask what others made.
Nobody forces people to do chesed, no N'shei should make you feel "obligated"....you have to learn to say "no" when it's too much for you.
For those that have issues with 3-4 weeks of dinner...I am someone that doesn't have parents or in laws to cook for me...when my second child was born 15 months after my first, my husband worked full time and was going to school at night....those suppers were a life saver to me!!!! It wasn't just that I had a "homemade" meal (and it didn't need to be fancy...plain chicken and mashed potatoes was good enough) but I didn't have to wash pots and pans and clean up from the supper prep...
I have to say that I recovered from that birth much quicker than any of my other children and I can definitely contribute it to the fact that I truly rested....
For those that cant figure out why a person cant just buy "take out"...a home made meal makes a difference...and yes, there is nothing wrong with ordering a pizza once during the week so someone doesn't have to send a meal...
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:02 am
amother wrote:
Some families won't eat frozen food. Mine won't.


I haven't hugged you yet but I think I will. B"H mine will, and I am eternally grateful to my MIL for having been such a freezer proponent.
A few thoughts:
- Maya, that's a good point. I do remember the one baby I went into serious overtime with and yes, we started raiding the freezer.
- But not everyone has freezers.
- I don't know exactly how things work now. Back in the day before websites like makeameal or whatever it's called, our local chesed organization arranged meals for 2 weeks. Even if the person has lots of family in town, you never know how thin they're stretched, or what other factors might be at play. For a while they didn't cover Sundays, expecting there to be leftovers from Shabbos. I asked the organizers if the Shabbos cookers knew they were supposed to cook double. Things changed after that Tongue Out
- If someone needs a meal past the 2 weeks, I would happily cook it. I think it's stretching the good will of the community to make longer than 2 weeks routine though.

One last thing to the amother quoted above. You might want to try prepping some foods raw, like coating schnitzel (you have to use fresh raw chicken). I have found no difference in quality. (Note: I bake mine.) Hatzlacha!

ETA: Bizzydizzymommy, Thumbs Up


Last edited by PinkFridge on Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Red


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:03 am
MiracleMama wrote:
Wont eat frozen food? This is fresh food, just frozen. Not TV dinners. When you reheat it, it tastes just the same as fresh. If it was served to you and you didn't know it came from the freezer, you would never be able to tell. If your family can tell, then you're freezing it wrong or reheating it wrong.


It is no longer fresh. It is frozen. There is no such thing as fresh cooked food that was frozen. The process of freezing changes the taste. I can tell when I am served frozen food. My kids can also. DH can't. I can also tell if something was cooked that day or it was left over.
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sourstix




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:03 am
I think there are plenty of women having their first and their mother or sister isnt around to help. they are clueless how things should go in terms of taking care of a baby and I think they deserve this kind of help. I remmeber my first I was a mess and the suppers would have been a life saver. not to mention its a huge chessed. I dont think you need to make a fancy supper. I would feel so uncomfortable if you would go out of your way to make something different then your family. they or the receivers dont want to made to feel different. that isnt the whole idea. the idea is they need help. it can be a very simple supper. baked chicken and potatoes and a salad and no you dont have to send dessert. I dont serve dessert after supper everyday. why I dont think most do. I have eaten in different places and didnt see that. understand that if your pregnancy went relativley easy and your delivery too and pp. then say to the ones offereing that you dont need it. it will go to those who truly do.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:06 am
MiracleMama wrote:
Wont eat frozen food? This is fresh food, just frozen. Not TV dinners. When you reheat it, it tastes just the same as fresh. If it was served to you and you didn't know it came from the freezer, you would never be able to tell. If your family can tell, then you're freezing it wrong or reheating it wrong.


I've found that not everything comes out well. A lot of fully cooked chicken dishes, for example. (Though grilled from my grill pan is fine.) Reheated frozen roast is excellent though, IMO and that of my family.
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gp2.0




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:06 am
I never got the whole supper deal. I have all day long to make supper when I'm postpartum. It takes 5 mins to dump chicken and sauce into a pan. Another 5 to dump frozen vegetables or a box of rice into a pot. What's the big deal? What I really really did appreciate was breakfast and lunch the first week postpartum. I found those harder to prepare and ended up noshing on junk and eating lots of cereal and milk and cheese.
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cm




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:07 am
Once when I was called to make a bikur cholim meal (not for a new mother, but it's the same concept), the coordinator suggested keeping it simple. I don't know if people are showing off exactly, but when you do something for someone else it is natural to want to make it nice, perhaps a little nicer than usual. It's a good idea to remind people, if necessary, to make ordinary meals.

As for whether or not new moms should receive meals - it's helpful for some families. If a family doesn't need meals, they should decline graciously. If they do feel that they need help, it isn't up to others to say they don't. If you want to help, then do so. If not, decline to participate.


Last edited by cm on Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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dancingqueen




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:08 am
In my community it's literally 2 full months of meals. I think its a bit much, but its totally optional and nice if you want to. Who called you and asked you to make the meals op?
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mha3484




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:08 am
Also, not all of us have parents who keep kosher. If my mother came to help me it would be super stressful making sure nothing gets treifed. Not what you want to do post partum.
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amother




Aubergine


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:09 am
I have a family member with a large family of her own. When I needed suppers (post surgery) she sent ONE portion, for me. She said the kids can eat tuna, or peanut butter sandwiches, the mother needs a nutritious meal. Adding one portion to her cooking was doable, cooking for my whole family was not. I am extremely thankful for her thoughtfulness.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:12 am
I don't if any spinoffs have started yet, but this might be food for thought: I admire the independence of some of the posters. Sonei matanos yichye is something we should all live by. And yes, institutionalizing certain chasadim just ups the ante and leads to entitlement. But can't you see the beauty in offering 2 weeks of meals to new parents? It's showing that we value the addition to the community and helping strengthen the societal structure by offering this kind of support. There are people who cooked for us - and not just for my kids, also when I had back trouble - who I'll never be able to repay, definitely not in kind, but I've also paid it forward in their zechus.
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sourstix




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:13 am
maya it sounds like from your post that life goes so smoothly. can I burst your bubble? things get complicated very quickly. I wouldnt be surprized! hold in there. a complicated pregnancy and she needs to lie, a pregnancy that is very precarious. can others chime in what can happen in a pregnancy that makes her incapable of cooking large amounts at a time?
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shoshanim999




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 10:13 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
OP, nobody is forcing you to cook for anyone. I really dont understand these posts. I really dont. Who is making you make anything? When, and if, I cook for a post partum woman or any other person, I am doing it because I want to. I sometimes (many times) say I cant. And nobody needs to know why I cant, I just cant.
But who the heck is making 3 course amazing meals? I have never seen that in my life. We give (and receive) things like lasagna/ziti, chicken with rice, meatballs and either a container of salad or cut veggies.
Sometimes its very nice to have a home cooked meal after birth and maybe the husband works till after the time that the other children (if there are any) eat so having a ready made dinner is nice.
All I can say is that my daughter was born early and was in the hospital for two weeks. My community, where we had moved into 6 months earlier, came together and made us dinners for two weeks. It was so thoughtful of them. It was so lovely to come home and not have to think about making something and even having to go and get take out or order in. People usually do these things because they want to. And you do not have to make a lavish meal to keep up with the cohens. Just make what you want to make. And only do it when and if you want to and can. This is not something to do that will make you resent doing it. I hardly do it anymore. I just cant (for a number of reasons) and I never feel bad when I say no.



OP, here I understand that nobody is holding a gun to my head forcing me to cook. But do you really not understand that when everybody on the block and in shul is involved in making these crazy meals it would make me uncomfortable to say " I'm a little busy this week so I really can't?" Its very easy to post on this anonymous website to "just say your not interested, thank you." We both know that IRL its very hard to stand up against something that everyone else seems to be in favor of.
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