Several years ago I was asked to contribute a recipe and inspirational message to a cookbook, “The Susan G. Komen/Pink Plaid Cookbook” The money from the sale of this book was to go to cancer research.
The recipe was easy. I sent in something very homey, “gingerbread pancakes with butterscotch apples,” from my second cookbook. But the inspirational message was not. I have lost two grandmothers to cancer and I have several friends who are battling the disease but my reaction besides just trying to keep in touch and be there if needed, is to cook. I know that food can be very healing. I am not just talking about chicken soup which some studies have concluded does indeed help cure at least the common cold. I am talking about the happy moment that freshly baked cookies or a pot of homemade minestrone can bring to someone who is feeling down.
I remember when I was a kid and had a bad day at school and came home to find that my mom was making my favorite meatballs for dinner. The world suddenly seemed a lot brighter. Now, every Sunday night (my son has dubbed Sunday, “National Homework Day ”) when my family is collectively dreading the beginning of the new week, I try to make a big comfort meal.