When you're going through hard times in the South, food is always on the way.
Whether there was a death in the family, someone is in the hospital, or life has taken a difficult turn, we all face difficult challenges from time to time. A home-cooked meal can’t fix a tough situation, but it can definitely provide comfort when it is needed most.
What to take someone going through a tough time
In times of need, Southerners show up. Usually with a casserole dish in hand. Freezer-friendly foods like soups or casseroles are always a smart idea to bring to someone who is unable to cook because the dish can be eaten right away or saved for later, if the recipient’s refrigerator is already full (which tends to happen during a crisis). But if you think the person in need will be bombarded with casseroles, try a simple roasted chicken dinner or comforting chicken pot pie. A batch of homemade cookies is another sweet way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. If you don’t have time to cook, pick up a rotisserie chicken, a pre-washed salad mix, and some cookies from the supermarket’s bakery section. A bunch of flowers is always welcome too.
Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe: Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie
BBQ Rub Roasted Chickens with Potatoes and Carrots
White Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies
What to bring to a funeral
At Southern wakes or repasts, the dishes tend to outnumber the people. The best type of dish to bring to a funeral is something that is portable and can serve a lot of people warm or at room temperature. Think: pound cake, chicken salad, pasta salad. That said, this is not a picnic—people are in need of serious comforting. Which is why rich, comforting dishes like potato casseroles or lasagna are always appreciated too. If you were close to the deceased, you could bring something that he or she loved. Was he obsessed with fried chicken? Did she love your Easter carrot cake? Even if it the dish might seem a little random, it’s an easy way for people to remember happier times.
Recipe: Million Dollar Pound Cake
Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Recipe: Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Tarragon Chicken Salad
Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Salad
Recipe: Classic Lasagna
Mama's Fried Chicken
Recipe: Mama's Fried Chicken
Carrot Cake with Chèvre Frosting
Recipe: Carrot Cake with Chèvre Frosting
What to make when someone is under the weather
Soup is the obvious way to take care of a sick family member or friend, and our slow cooker Soulful Chicken Soup is one of our favorite versions of this classic recipe. Or try a vitamin-packed Sweet Potato Soup, topped with toasted pecans. If your loved one can stomach something a little more substantial, our Chicken Bog is a comforting but not-too-heavy mix of shredded chicken, rice, and vegetables. Or blend up a batch of Yogurt-Fruit Smoothies to sip while recovering (and watching Netflix).
Recipe: Soulful Chicken Soup
Sweet Potato Soup
Recipe: Sweet Potato Soup
Recipe: Chicken Bog
Recipe: Yogurt-Fruit Smoothie
What to make when you need to brighten someone’s day
Brown Sugar-Banana Muffins
Recipe: Brown Sugar-Banana Muffins
What to eat when you’re eating your feelings
When you’re the one feeling low, you want maximum comfort with minimum effort. That might mean reaching for a pint of ice cream, but if you can summon the energy to make yourself something from scratch, you might enjoy the distraction—or at least the delicious product of your distraction. You can’t beat mac and cheese. Or you could whip up a silky dish of our homemade chocolate pudding, the ultimate comfort dessert, or another childhood favorite (upgraded and super-sized): a Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie. This ooey-gooey cookie is designed to share, but rules don’t apply when you’re really in need.
Recipe: Chocolate Pudding