Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Real Comfort Food

My daughter phoned and asked me a question this morning.  Someone they know is recovering from open heart surgury, and she wants to do something to help out family waiting in the recovery room.  Having small children, with sniffles, it's not in anyone's best interests for her to spend a lot of time there, but she was wondering what she could send.
Several years ago we were in the hospital, intensive care, after a family member was in a terrible car accident, and we learned first hand what a blessing food was.  We became aware of how quickly $20 could disappear in the hospital cafeteria, and into the vending machines.  Also, how tiresome chicken and fries became on the second day. And I learned what not to take up, and what it was not wise to carry, when it was my turn to keep watch.
Of course, all quantities have to be adjusted to the number of people there, and I found that although a 24 pack of bottled water is economical and easy (ish) to carry up, once that plastic was broken it was a pain in the neck if there weren't enough thirsty people to use them up.  So if you send something, scale back. And double bag.  You have no idea how precious a used grocery bag can be to deal with "stuff".
As for food:
muffins; neat and easy to eat
ham and cheese in buns; same as above
mini chocolate bars
juice boxes
mandarin oranges
grapes (wash at home if at all possible)
dried fruit in little portions, ziploc bagged
boxes of raisins
Not food:
hand wipes
little packages of kleenex
chewing gum
breath mints
a deck of playing cards
a notebook and pen for visitors to write down messages, phone numbers, and just to say they were there.  My sister in law is now amazed and touched as she reads all the notes that people left while she was on life support in ICU.
OK, that's just a quick list, made up on the spot.  What do you suggest?  What has helped you get through those anxious days in the waiting room?  What's easy to eat, has easy to dispose of wrappings, and makes you feel good?

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