I must admit, I'm being a bit impulsive in what I'm about to do, but it's a really good thing!
Years ago I read a blog post from one of my then favorite bloggers. She had a brilliant idea but it just never really got off the ground like I think she hoped it would. So, inspired by her original idea, I am kicking off this thing. Honestly, I'm not sure what to call it. I know what it is not - it's not a business. It's more like a ministry but still not exactly that either. A movement, maybe? I don't know. Let me tell you a little about it and you tell me what you think.
Folks who know me would tell you that my love language is food. Feeding people is one of my favorite things to do. I love to cook and I love to share meals with friends and family. I have delivered countless meals to families who were welcoming new babies into their homes, folks recovering from illnesses, those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, new neighbors moving in, or to friends - just-because. Having been on the receiving end of that situation recently has prompted me to move forward in this plan. Never again will I under-value the kindness that a home cooked meal delivered at such a time expresses to human beings. This simple act of hospitality has remarkable power to touch hearts.
The original idea was to purchase a casserole dish, double any meal you are making for your own family, put it in the pan, and give it to someone. In doing this, you bless someone unexpectedly, get to know people in your neighborhood you might not have met, and "stimulate the growth of community and hospitality within your neighborhood."
The author goes on to include a few more ideas and details. You can read about it here. I'm basically doing what she encouraged her readers to do, and I'm adding a few little fun components. The goal is to keep the pan rolling, so-to-speak, by passing it on within two weeks. The goal is never to keep the pan to oneself, no matter how much one might adore it LOL.
My mom taught me how to sew old-fashioned casserole dish carriers a long time ago. She has gifted me with several, and I use them often. I thought they would make a lovely addition to the traveling pan, and it's accompanying "passport". So I started collecting fabric and baking/casserole pans in hopes of making several. I actually purchased a couple of really pretty dishes at the local thrift shop and found fabric that coordinated beautifully. Then I started designing what will eventually become the Passport/Journal that stays with the pan.
My hope is to have a growing number of Traveling Pan Collections ready to launch into the world in the next two weeks. I'm well on my way to meeting that goal. I hope to share more ideas about how to extend hospitality in simple and practical ways right here on the blog under The Hospitable Heart.
Each pan will have a name embroidered inside on a label, a Passport/Journal, a post card, and instructions for how to go to the Facebook Group and share about your Traveling Pan experience. I envision watching as stories unfold about how they have been blessed with a meal from someone passing the Traveling Pan - and how they plan to pass it forward.
All the details will be included in the Passport and on the Facebook Group that I have created. It's a private group only because we want some small amount of protection from those who might want to crash the party. It will be easy to join the group for those who genuinely want to be part of the community.
Stay tuned for updates and more information!!