The Shared New Baby Meal / by Cynthia Raub

harissa grilled pork chops and chickpea carrot salad

There's no experience in the world as transformative as becoming a mother. A mother has spent nine months housing and nourishing a body that is not her own; then, somehow, she is more whole after the delivery of her long-awaited gift. The first few weeks after delivery are a whirlwind of recovery, joy, visiting friends and family, and worry. Bringing a friend or family member a thoughtful and nutritive meal after delivery is more than a kind gesture, it's a lifeline during an important transition for a family. When a sweet friend at preschool delivered her second little girl, a meal train was set up to provide several weeks of meals for her family. There's a lot of advice out there about bringing meals to new parents, like: asking about dietary restrictions or preferences, bringing meals in disposable containers, coordinating the best time to deliver the meal, and making sure the food is ready to eat with no prep or cooking required. But mostly, it's the generous and thoughtful act of love and community that counts the most.

When it came to this friend, she said her family was not particular and open to all foods so I felt comfortable branching out from soup or pasta. I wanted to bring her family a meal that was easy to eat, easy to warm up, and a little bit of a departure from other meals she was provided. They were grateful and gracious to receive the food. I was happy to give them one less thing to worry about and fill their tummies with a wholesome and delicious meal at the same time.

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Harissa Grilled Pork Chops

Chickpea Carrot Salad