A Friend In Need: Take a “Comfort Supper”



Dear Readers,

I received an invaluable gift from my mother:  She modeled for me the custom of taking a meal to “a friend in need,” due to illness, a death in the family, a new baby, or  “moving day.”  On Vandenberg Air Force Base [VAFB], where my family lived for ten years, there were frequent opportunities for my mother to exercise her “gift:”   families frequently transferred in and/or transferred out.  She raised four children, during those years, but she always carved out time to help “a friend in need.”

My mother’s “go-to” entree was an Italian dish, “Talarigni,” which she served with a fresh, green salad and Italian bread.  This was a “comfort supper,” of which I have fond memories.  However, I offer here a simple and comforting menu that is gluten-free.  When you have a “friend in need,” take this “comfort supper” and be sure to pack the supper in containers which the family does not have to return!

Or, serve this menu for company.  It is a supper that all ages will enjoy!

A Comfort & Company Supper Menu:


Mashed Potato Casserole

Green Peas & Pearl Onions

Kefir & Fruit


All ingredients are from New Leaf Market, Tallahassee.  All ingredients are organic, and are local, where possible.

This menu includes all the four food groups but is not low-fat.  It is, however, relatively low-carb.  I do not include bread and dessert.

You may wish to subsitute baked sweet potatoes and steamed green beans, if you want a menu that is lower-glycemic.

Dairy products: I recommend full-fat or low-fat but never no-fat.

Legend:  C=cup; t=teaspoon; T=tablespoon]; EVOO=extra virgin olive oil]


Rector’s Meatloaf [“Old Faithful”] [4-6 servings]

From:  Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook:  A Kitchen Reader  [With modifications by Margot Blair Payne]


Vegetables: wash and chop:

½ C onion, sweet

1/2 C sweet pepper, red

1/2 C sweet pepper, green

Moist ingredients: Mix well together:

2-3 large eggs, beaten

8 ounces Pacific Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1 T Worchestershire sauce [non-gluten]

Seasonings and oats:  Toss together and add to liquid ingredients:

2 t. sea salt; 1 t. black pepper; ½ t. season salt

1 C uncooked rolled oats, non-gluten

In a very large bowl, add the above ingredients and mix well with the meat: 

1 pound ground round

1 pound ground turkey or chicken


½  C Annie’s Naturals Organic Ketchup

¼ C Tropical Pepper Company Steak Sauce

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat glass casseroles with EVOO.  Press mixture into casseroles.    Bake one hour.  Remove and spread topping on top.  Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

Mashed Potato Casserole with Sour Cream and Chives: [6 servings]

1/4 C butter, softened

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, small

2 t sea salt – divided

1 & ½ to 2 C total of dairy:  sour cream and/or Greek yogurt, plain

½ t black pepper

1 T finely chopped chives, dried

1/2 C shredded carrots [optional]

½ C fresh Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded [optional]

Oil a 9×9 glass casserole with EVOO.

In a large pot, boil the potatoes and 1 t. salt in water, until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

Mash potatoes with butter, sour cream, 1 t. salt, and pepper. Mash in the chives.

Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.  Spread the potatoes into the casserole.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle cheese over top.

Bake until golden and crisp, 30-40 minutes.

Steam the [frozen] Green Peas & Pearl Onions:  “Organic” is hard to find.  

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Mix in a ratio of 1:1:  plain Kefir and Kefir with fruit.  Garnish with fresh fruit.


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Filed under A Friend In Need, friendship, healthy nutrition, Menus, Recipes

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