It's hard to cook when you're busy crying
February 7, 2013 10:52 AM   Subscribe

My uncle is in the hospital, and may soon be in hospice for end-of-life care. My aunt has been carrying the weight of both their worlds, as well as his care, for too long, and she's exhausted and bereaved. Please help me find a way to take the small responsibility of feeding herself off her to-do list.

My aunt and uncle live in the Boca Raton area. Their son (my cousin) and his wife also do, but the rest of their family, including me and mine, live far away. We can't be there to help her in all the ways she could use it while she struggles with my uncle's illness, so I'm trying to...oh, I don't know. I guess trying to take one little worry off her pile, because it's the only thing I can do from up here. I'd like to find a service that will deliver enjoyable, relatively healthy meals to my aunt's home for the next week or two (possibly longer), but my google-fu isn't turning up any such service.

Do these services exist? Can anyone recommend a reliable, good one in the Boca area? My aunt is a bit of a foodie, so if the service does meals somewhat classier than macaroni-and-cheese that would be great, but it needn't be five-star food or anything - the goal here is for her not to have to worry, not to have her writing food reviews.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
Sorry to hear your sad news. There are a number of places that do this in the Boca area, a few listed on Yelp, including some healthy options (DeliverLean, Fresh Meal)
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:59 AM on February 7, 2013

I found the same via google, but on a less snarky note, it didn't seem that those restaurant finders were pulling up the cream of the crop. If she's really a foody, I'd just go with an urban spoon or a yelp or something like that and find the top 20 or so restaurants of the vox populi. Its going to take a little more phone-work on your part, but I'd then call each restaurant and explain your aunt's situation, and that you'd like them to deliver one of their most popular meals/menu items to dear old aunty, and you'd like to pay all delivery costs and a tip as well. Any resto that does delivery in the first place should quickly take you up. You never know what other ideas some of the non-deliv places might even offer. Good luck, and good on you.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:01 AM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]

[No idea why people think snarky comments about Google are appropriate here. They are not.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:04 AM on February 7, 2013

Just to clarify: I'm hoping to find a business that specializes in multi-meal delivery, as opposed to me having to personally order and schedule single meals from one or more restaurants.

Looks like Admiral Haddock's Yelp link has some useful prospects, so I'll take a look at those. If anyone has specific recommendations for particular businesses they've had good experiences with, that would also be wonderful to hear about.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 11:07 AM on February 7, 2013

If she's particular about food, may I suggest that you choose a different household task to take over? Laundry tends to pile up a lot when you're busy, and dirty laundry makes your house feel yucky and out of control. You can hire a service to take the dirty laundry away and bring it back fresh and clean.
posted by pickypicky at 11:08 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Perhaps you could reach out to your cousin to find out if he knows some of your aunt's favorite spots to eat. Then you could contact those restaurants for some delivery options.

For what it's worth, I used to work at a restaurant that did not do delivery or take-out; but, we would ALWAYS help people in these sorts of situations.
posted by AlliKat75 at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

The Fresh Diet is pretty much exactly what you are looking for.
posted by Perplexity at 11:13 AM on February 7, 2013

I'd search for Personal Chef recommendations. Here's another one in the area, though I have no experience with her. They can prep a number of meals, and drop them off in individual containers. You might want to arrange two deliveries a week, if you can afford it, so the food doesn't go bad over the course of a week.
posted by barnone at 11:16 AM on February 7, 2013

Around here (GA) Schwan's has a pretty good reputation for delivering meals. Since they are a fairly large company I would hope they are consistent with their quality elsewhere.
posted by TedW at 11:23 AM on February 7, 2013

Does she belong to a church? Most churches have people who volunteer to serve in exactly this sort of way; preparing and delivering meals to the homes of people who need them.
posted by DWRoelands at 11:45 AM on February 7, 2013

So sorry to hear of your predicament, but it's lovely that you want to do this for her/them.

Could your cousin and his wife organize something like a local Meal Train? Basically, they could cook meals (fresh or frozen) and deliver them on specific dates. Here is a tutorial. If your aunt and uncle are/were involved with a church or any other similar group/organization, those folks could sign up to cook as well.

Some other possibilities:
* Healthy Chef Creations (about $235 delivered to FL, 5 days' worth of breakfast, lunch & dinner)
* Personal Chef To Go (about $150 delivered to FL, 5 days' worth of lunch & dinner)
* Home Bistro (prices vary based on menu)
posted by divined by radio at 12:33 PM on February 7, 2013

So sorry about your uncle.

Came in to also suggest a personal chef service. One thing to keep in mind though is that, unless they have access to a professional kitchen (some don't), most health codes require that they cook and pack up the food at the client's home. Having meals made/delivered by a catering service might be less intrusive.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 2:05 PM on February 7, 2013

So everyone's going to be different, but when I brought my husband home to hospice, anything actually complicated or classy, would have seemed bizarre and inedible to me. I needed stuff I could eat with one hand and that could live in the fridge for a long time and would also satisfy the other people coming by (because it takes at least three people to make it through home hospice). I don't think I ate anything hot the whole time. One neighbor dropped off a huge stack of paper plates and cups, it was perfection. The other thing that I now use as my go-to "in-crisis meal delivery" is a big container of egg salad, a big container of tuna salad, some nice bread and some cold cuts. I went through lots of dairy because it settled my anxious and acid-filled stomach. And someone made me cookies, which helped more than I like to admit.
posted by Mozzie at 10:42 AM on February 9, 2013

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