What kind of foodstuffs should I provide to the people helping me move?
January 4, 2007 1:53 PM   Subscribe

What kind of foodstuffs should I provide to the people helping me move?

I need ideas for a quick, non-messy, no-cooking-required breakfast and lunch to set out for my super-fantastic friends who are helping me move on Saturday. One of them is allergic to wheat, which means that doughnuts (for breakfast) and pizza (for lunch) are out.
posted by donajo to Food & Drink (19 answers total)
I'd probably say just take them all out for a nice meal afterwards... if you're looking for an alternative, maybe get a supermarket prepared buffet - lots of snacks from a premium range.

Alternatively, you could ask them what they'd like, if they have direct personalities. :)
posted by rc55 at 2:01 PM on January 4, 2007

For lunch, maybe a sandwich 'bar'? Throw out some bread, some of the standard bread lubes, sliced veg, cheese, pickles &c, and let people assemble their own. You can get a wheat-free rye bread to offer in the mix.

If you're really set against cooking, breakfast sure sounds like cold cereal. But a good muesli, with some chopped fresh fruit, would make for pretty nice cold cereal. If you end up with a wheat-germ laden muesli, just make sure there's enough fruit out to make a meal with.

You can get pre-sliced everything at supermarkets nowadays, so both are pretty low-fuss.
posted by kmennie at 2:05 PM on January 4, 2007

For breakfast :

Bagels, Cream cheese, lox/smoked salmon,muffins, juice and coffee. I'm not sure where you are but in my city there is a rice bakery with alot of wheat free goodies. I have this issue and either I have what I want (yuck) or just have the coffee/juice and realize that nearly everything fast and easy has wheat in it.

For lunch:

Disposable plates/forks: Greek salad, deli tray of meats and cheeses, olives, crackers (many non-wheat kinds), bbq chicken etc. Lots of that I go to a decent market and get alot form the delis. They are easily refrigerated if not used and lots of wheat free options.

Oh yea beer. alot of beer.
posted by Country Dick Montana at 2:07 PM on January 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ask the wheat-allergic friend what would be good for him/her. You can still have the doughnuts and pizza, along with your friend's wheat-free suggestions. I get the sense that people with limiting allergies like wheat will appreciate you asking instead of guessing.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 2:10 PM on January 4, 2007

I just moved, and offered Chinese food to my friends. I got us a large and delicious feast, very little of which was made of wheat. Indian take-out also rules.

I second the beer proposal.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:11 PM on January 4, 2007

OMG, people, the more inside includes a wheat allergy. Sandwiches and beer are not going to work.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 2:12 PM on January 4, 2007

Just because one person has a wheat allergy it doesn't mean everyone has to adjust their diet.

I second the sandwich bar or Chinese food for lunch. You'll have enough options so people with allergies can still get a decent meal.

A bagel bar for breakfast would work as well, with perhaps some corn muffins or something for the no-wheat person.

Don't put out the beer until an hour or two before you're finished. At the very least, beer should not be provided until you're moving into the destination.
posted by bondcliff at 2:18 PM on January 4, 2007

Ahh, but you can get Redbridge from Anheuser-Busch. It's a sorghum beer for wheat allergy sufferers.

Yeah Beer!
posted by Country Dick Montana at 2:19 PM on January 4, 2007

Corn chips or corn taco shells with bean dip, salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese etc. in jars or plastic containers is low-fuss, wheat-free (but check the labels to be sure), and doesn't make dishes.

Fresh fruit for snacking and quick energy boosts is good. There are also decent wheat-free rye crackers out there (wheat free rye bread is hard to find in my experience. Most rye breads use a mix of wheat and rye flours).

Hard boiled eggs could be made in advance for breakfast. Yogurt in individual containers alleviates the dish problem that cereal might bring up.

It would probably be quite reasonable to ask your friend "what can I get you for breakfast/lunch?" Eating wheat free is difficult, and they will probably appreciate your question as much as they would appreciate food that was a surprise. Plus, you might find that they eat things for breakfast or lunch that aren't "typical" foods that you wouldn't otherwise think of.

on preview: pre-packaged salads are great BUT you have to be careful of obvious things like croutons and non-obvious things like wheat products in the ingredients of the dressing. Chinese food is NOT GOOD: there is often wheat in soy and other sauces, not to mention wheat gluten is a common ingredient in Chinese food. Most wheat free baked products (bread, muffins, bagels whatever) taste like ass, in my opinion (I did wheat free for a while). Definitely check with your friend before investing in any of these products. Quality varies widely, and there's no point in getting a brand s/he can't stand.
posted by carmen at 2:24 PM on January 4, 2007

Or, if for some reason you don't want to support A-B, the unfortunately named but pretty decent-tasting Bard's Tale Beer is also sorghum-based and available in quite a few locations.

Yeah Beer, indeed!
posted by cog_nate at 2:25 PM on January 4, 2007

Nothing too heavy on the stomach (don't want them slacking after eating it!), but that is filling and a good provider of energy. Also, it needs to be easy for you to prepare in advance so that there's not excess cooking, washing up and packing of utensils to worry about.

Breakfast: when I moved, one of my friends popped out and got hot, fresh coffee, which is always a great start to the day. How about that with cereal, yoghurt, fruit?

Lunch: as it's January and cold, how about some nice hot soup, a salad and some fruit to top it off with. The soup can be easily warmed in a pan/microwave, the cold stuff isn't an issue. I roasted some veggies in herbs and garlic the night before I moved and threw them in with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and a balsamic dressing. That meant no washing up on the day, minimal effort in the kitchen the night before, but I still went to the effort of making stuff for people helping me. Disposable plates, etc is a good idea.
posted by TheDonF at 2:31 PM on January 4, 2007

FWIW, Chinese food often won't work for a person with wheat allergies; most kinds of soy sauce are made with wheat.

Wheat allergies are hard. Don't guess. Oftentimes you'll think of something only to find out later that it has just a little bit of wheat in it.
posted by Jeanne at 2:41 PM on January 4, 2007

quick, non-messy, no-cooking-required breakfast and lunch

can you get wheat free breakfast bars? I've moved over 30 times and you wanna get in and get it done, which does not mean standing around chewing the fat over some croissants and latte - it means eating en route. Plus your plates are packed (or being packed) as are your t-towels and forks. So finger food that can be carried in a basket for breakfast: snack bars, fruit, muffins for those so inclined, nothing sticky.

For lunch (is it all over by then?) go out to a place, or get delivered in, maybe have your wheatless friend suggest something that everyone can choose a menu item from. Again, avoid the need for plates and cultery if not supplied already (you got enough to do without worrying about dishes).

Avoid the need for refrigeration of leftovers (if you've just moved your fridge you'll know you shouldn't turn it on straight away) - you'll want to throw everything in the garbage when you're done, so you can get back to unpacking.

Re the beer - not too much if your friends have to drive home. Make sure there are alternatives (appropriately chilled or heated) water, soda, coffee. A thermos or two would probably be an excellent idea.
posted by b33j at 3:07 PM on January 4, 2007

OMG, people, the more inside includes a wheat allergy.

Yeah, but. I'm a vegetarian, and would be embarrassed if a group of omnivores went temporarily vegetarian (without wanting to) just to accomodate me. It's better for me to forage than to feed a group less than ideal food.

Agreed re. beer. I thought it went without saying...

Re. you wanna get in and get it done -- last time I moved, the (paid) movers declined all offers of meals, but seemed pretty happy about the bowls of chips, boxes of cookies, etc, I put out with canned drinks. You want, I think, some stuff people can grab at any point during the day, too. Even if it's junk like chips and cookies.
posted by kmennie at 3:38 PM on January 4, 2007

Regardless of the menu, you're going to be busy *moving,* so delivery is your friend.

(Just don't forget the coffee and beer.)
posted by asuprenant at 3:56 PM on January 4, 2007

When a bunch of friends helped me movie last I bought them all bagels, cream cheese, lox, coffee, and juice. It was all gobbled up appreciatively. I would definitely go for this, because it's not too much food (they won't be so full they can't move stuff) and it's a solid energy boost. Someone already said this, but I second the suggestion to look for a bakery (preferred) or grocery store (if needed) that has wheat-free bagels for the one with the allergy.

Of course, definitely beer later in the day. Maybe you can ask what the allergy-person likes to drink if you don't already know. If it's something not conducive to moving (i.e., whine) you can offer to buy them a couple drinks out at a bar later.
posted by jk252b at 5:39 PM on January 4, 2007

I gave breakfast tacos in the morning, and beer in the afternoon. The movers seemed quite happy.
posted by kaseijin at 6:03 AM on January 5, 2007

Lots of pizza, plus something non-wheat for the allergic one.

Lots of soft drinks for during the move and lots and lots of of beer for afterward.

Plus more pizza.
posted by KRS at 1:27 PM on January 5, 2007

some friends moved their apartment and stopped in at my house to give me their old couch. i didn't feel obligated to meal them for this favour, but i wanted to snack them. i did this with icy glasses of coke and a large bowl of cherries, fresh from the fridge. went over well. so cold cherries on a summer day is my vote. spitting the pits down the driveway was a pretty fun side benefit.
posted by twistofrhyme at 1:56 PM on January 5, 2007

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