Something special happens when you invite someone into your home for dinner. I believe that same magic is present when you bring food to their doorstep. Preparing and cooking a meal takes time, it takes thought, it takes love. A casserole has the ability to minister to someone where words can't reach.
Here in the South, it is customary to deliver a casserole to someone when certain life events take place. (Deaths, births, sickness etc.) Whether the event is tragic or filled with joy, sending food their way is an opportunity to communicate that we care and are willing to help in a time of need.
I believe cooking and baking to be one of my love languages. I blame it on my Southern roots as well as generations of good cooks and caring women. I love having people in my home and at my table. We share more than food--we share life.
Only recently have I started this venture in loving people through food. Now that I am married with a home of our own, I find joy in filling the freezer with delicious casseroles (to make dinner for a hectic night easier, or to share with others). This Christmas I decided to make lots of cookies and casseroles to share. When choosing a casserole, I decided on one of our favorite dinners: Chicken Pot Pie. Who doesn't love Chicken Pot Pie?! I found a recipe last year on Pinterest from Lovely Little Kitchen that we just love.
Wrap casserole with saran wrap to ensure that it is sealed.
Cover with tin foil, labeling what it is.
*I like to use cute labels, making sure that I give clear directions on how to bake, if it is a gift.
If baking straight from the freezer, uncover, remove saran wrap, and place the tin foil back over the casserole.
Bake at 400 degrees for an hour, or until bubbling.
Be sure to remove the tin foil during the last few minutes of baking to brown your crust!
If thawed, just follow the directions on your recipe card!
*I found that I like to cheat and use canned biscuits to make my crust, but you can use any type of crust you like! This dough works well with freezing, so if you change it up, I would just suggest that you do a little experiment before gifting it!
**Also, if you are having trouble weaving your crust, here are a few helpful tips at Gimme Some Oven!
Sometimes showing love to those around you looks like making a plate of food and taking it to the widow next door. Sometimes it looks like dropping off baked goods at your local DFCS office. Sometimes it even looks like buying canned goods for a local shelter. There are so many ways to love the people right around you, and often times we are too busy to notice.
Though feeding people may be one of my love languages, what is yours? You don't have to bake a casserole to show someone you care--that's just one idea! This world is desperate for love and attention, and if we don't show it to them, they will search elsewhere.
I heard Jen Hatmaker once say that your physical neighbors were not placed there by chance. We were chosen to live alongside one another and care for each other--and if we can't love those directly around us, how can we love the world?
Though you may not be able to reach out to the tornado victims I mentioned in the introduction, I would like to challenge each of our readers to think of someone in your community who may need a little love. Whip up this Chicken Pot Pie, bake a few slice-and-bake cookies, or take them a vase of flowers. Let's consider what others around us may being going through and let them know we care. In the busy-ness of life it is often easy to miss opportunities to love--so let's make one.