Once upon a time, when the world was a kinder, gentler place, there
was an accepted course of action if someone you knew was sick,
recently bereaved or just going through a tough time. All you did was
turn on your oven, or pull out your crockpot, and cook up a useful,
tangible sign that you cared.
Whether it was a batch of scones or a bowl of chicken soup, it showed
that you had their best interests at heart.
My mother-in-law always said , that in times of trouble, a meal you
haven’t had to think about is the best. I know this from experience.
When I was a new mother, my lovely friend Meena saved my life on
numerous occasions. She’d text me at night to say that she’d drop off
a food parcel on her way to work the next morning, but that I wasn’t
to come to the door or feel like I had to make conversation after
being awake all night.
It was like having an incredibly thoughtful fairy godmother who made
amazing muesli, cake and quiche – all food that could be eaten
one-handed while rocking a baby. Obviously, the deliciousness of the
food was important (her muesli is next-level), the kindness of the
gesture was what really nourished me. It’s still enough to make me
want to cry with gratitude more than a decade later.
Few of us are cooking experts, but we can all help lighten the load in
our small way. If you want the world to be a better place, start in
your own kitchen (but don’t forget to wash your hands first).