What should I cook to take to friends who have had a death in the family.

We would like to drop something by the house that they might be able to use this week. I don’t want to do a casserole or lasagne. The surviving spouse is in his 90s and not frail, but probably not doing so great this week either. He would have one or two adult children helping him out at home, too–maybe even living there for a while, so there should be enough for more than one person.

Any ideas?

Pasta salad?

Muffins are always good. People need a little energy in the morning before doing all of the running around that managing a funeral entails, and a muffin is quick and easy to eat while pacing on the phone, driving, etc.

How about going to the deli and getting cold cuts, sliced cheese, and some nice bread or rolls? People don’t always remember to eat mid-day, and if they could easily put a sandwich together with, it might be nice. You could also add some potato salad or coleslaw to go with it. They could even have it for dinner if they’re not feeling like cooking.

When my mom passed away I appreciated having things I could set out when people came over. I didn’t want to make up a veggie or meat+cheese platter for guests, so it was nice to have those things in the fridge that I could just pull out. A nice nut assortment would be good, too.

When my father was ill, someone sent us a platter of dried fruit. Very useful – you could just grab a bite at any time.

what’s wrong with casserole or lasagna? They are comfort foods. Easily reheatable.

Something that freezes and reheats well, and can be divided into single servings easily, so honestly, a casserole or lasagna works nicely. When my ex-husband’s mother died, a friend came over and literally filled our freezer with things we could pull out and pop into a microwave whenever we needed to. It was a blessing.

That’s what I was thinking of, too. I also like the muffin idea.

There’s nothing terribly wrong with a casserole, except that it’s summertime, I don’t want to bring something that takes a long time to heat up properperly, and I imagine there won’t be too many sit-down meals. Something in portions might work.

This is what I was going to say too. You could add a bag of chips and some cookies or something, too. It could work for a bunch of meals.

You could make up a Chicken Divan casserole (classic comfort food for funerals in my family) and put it in portions in GladWare (or the equivalent) for them to freeze then nuke, or pulled pork and buns, or something like that.

I think the muffins, deli tray, and some prepped sides like potato salad, slaw, fruit, or veggies are great ideas.

A ham, turkey breast, or roast chicken (chicken parts might be easier to deal with) keep well in the refrigerator and can be reheated or just picked at cold. Maybe they would like deviled or hard boiled eggs, chili, soup, or chicken and dumplings/rice/dressing.

It might be helpful to bring some paper plates, plastic cutlery, napkins, aluminum foil, and paper towels.

Congealed salad is also good. It’s not a main course or a meal but it goes with pretty much everything and is really good for people whose teeth/chewing abilities aren’t 50 years old anymore.

I was just coming in to say a nice spiral sliced ham. When my mom passed there were tons of casseroles and pies, but very few “Main dish” proteins. Something that can be served hot or cold, sandwiches, or next to a spoon full of mac and cheese.

Doesn’t need to be a “Honeybaked” but I know it was sure appreciated when we were dealing with our loss…

That sounds awful. I guess it’s a regionalism - what does “congealed salad” mean? :confused:

This is a winner. Basically, people can pull it out of the fridge and not have to heat it up. Get some fancy spicy brown mustard, too, if you have beef and ham. Most delis will require some notice to put together a platter, but you can pick up a cheap platter and do it yourself (add some olives or pickles and other garnishes). While you’re at the supermarket, swing to the fresh fruits and vegetables section and pick up one of those veggie trays and some dip. Again, no prep required on the host’s part. Grapes are also good, people can have as many or as few as they want, and the mess is minimal.

Jello/gelatin salad, with additions like fruit or vegetables. For instance, canned fruit cocktail, or cottage cheese, or grated carrots. Don’t sneer, some of these are quite good. I used to be quite fond of a lime gelatin with cottage cheese, pineapple, and nuts that a local cafeteria chain used to serve, even though I ordinarily don’t like cottage cheese.

I think a casserole is a good idea. If lots of people bring things, a casserole can be stuck in the freezer for a week or two until the visitors have quit coming and bringing food. It can be reheated in small portions and is a good comfort food.

I think the deli stuff is a good idea. It doesn’t have to be eaten/frozen right away and can be picked at at their leisure. If it were me, I probably wouldn’t feel like eating a whole lot anyway.

And yes, it’s a Southernism.

When my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago…most of our staff (at our business) brought food…so much food, it lasted about 2 months. We had to freeze everything that was reheatable, and some of the dishes we could not finish nor freeze and ended up dumping it. I too would recommend something that can be frozen to be reheated at a later date.