Our November Celebrity Meal Provider
In 2014, I was introduced to Kara Tippets through her blog, Mundane Faithfulness. She wrote freely about her faith, family, and friendships in the midst of facing breast cancer. One beautiful piece of Kara's story is that during her illness, she invited her friends to come alongside her and she included them in her life even during her hardest days. I remember clearly being encouraged by Kara's blog writings as we had recently walked through losing my dad to cancer. She was not a woman of fear, but of faith, and she was as real as they come.
I mention Kara first because I became aware of this month's Celebrity Meal Provider, Jill Buteyn, through Kara. Kara was an incredible writer and when she partnered with a dear friend of hers to write a book, I couldn't wait to read it. Together, Jill and Kara wrote Just Show Up; The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together. It's a book about friendship and how it can look during our different stages of life, even during cancer or chronic illness. Jill and Kara alternated writing chapters and they handled the topic of how to show up for our friends with grace and humor (lots of humor)! It's a great time to check out Just Show Up because it's on sale until November 25th.
In addition to writing Just Show Up with Kara, Jill is an accomplished Christian fiction author. You can learn more about Jill on her blog and you can check out her newest book, The Veteran's Vow here.
Jill is the first one to admit (I learned this from the book) that taking meals isn't really her thing. That's why I knew she was the perfect celebrity to interview. Many of us can relate to that feeling! With that said, there are still ways we can care for our friends with food while keeping it simple and I can't wait to share Jill's ideas.
1. What is your go-to recipe when taking a meal to a friend?
For years, I would panic when a meal train came up. I was torn - did I want to help? Of course! But I always felt inept. I am the kind of cook who gets meals done for my family because we need to eat. But cooking isn't a passion of mine. And I don't have a meal that's sure to impress in my arsenal. So, a handful of years ago, I started purchasing Costco pre-made meals for taking someone a meal. It changed my life! I no longer felt panic, and I was much more comfortable saying yes. For families with food sensitivities, it can be a relief to receive a pre-packaged meal that has ingredients listed on it.
My favorite meal to grab is the Costco deli chicken fettuccine. The last time I brought this to a friend, her family ended up joining Costco because her son loved it so much.
2. What do you send along with the recipe? Any sides or desserts?
I also add the bag Caesar salad and then usually a dessert. It is about as simple as it gets!
3. What containers do you use to take this meal?
Another point for the store-bought meal: throwaway containers. When my friend Kara Tippetts was fighting cancer, I learned the art of sending food in disposable dishes since it alleviates the need to orchestrate their return.
4. What inspires you to take meals to others and how does that align with your work as an author?
I'm inspired to take someone a meal as a way to show them they are loved, cared for, and not alone. By providing a meal, not only are we taking one stress and one decision off their plate, but we are also nourishing their family, and we are allowing them to focus their energy on the battle they're engaged in.
After writing about how to walk alongside a friend who is suffering, I often find myself thinking about simple ways to provide a meal or a small gift for others. I used to believe that sending an online pizza gift certificate paled in comparison to a handmade meal, and so I wouldn't do it. But my attitude has changed. Now, if I think a pizza night might bless someone, I hop online and order the gift certificate to be sent by text or email. (Many of the national chains have this option.) I have had friends cry after receiving something that I used to think was "not enough" because they felt noticed and seen. What a blessing it is to love others through the nourishment of a meal!
Read other recent blog posts:
- Our Engraved Spoons are Now Available!
- What's the Kindest Thing Someone Has Done for You During a Hard Time?
- Our November Celebrity Meal Provider
- When Taking Meals Isn't Your Thing
- Organize Meal Help and Potlucks the Easy Way!
- On Being Neighborly
- A Pumpkin Breakfast Recipe to Take to Your Friend
- Fostering Friendship and Hospitality
- Candace Nelson!!! Our Celebrity Meal Provider for October
- Take a Charcuterie Board Featuring Honeycomb Wood Crafts