As a Cook'n Family, Let's Offer a Little Comfort and Sunshine!

I just read something from a newsletter I get from the New York Times Food Section Editor, Sam Sifton. I think you'll appreciate this:

"Malaise grips me, even under bluebird skies and in low humidity, with mourning doves cooing in the eaves. It may still be hard for some, against the sorrow and anger reflected in the news these past few days, to become excited about cakes and ale, much less to pass along recommendations to cook this stew or that lagniappe."

I have no idea what lagniappe is, but I know the malaise he's referencing. So I truly appreciated what he went on to say:

"But I will do it anyway because it works, because cooking in the face of tragedy is one way we can make better the lives of those around us, to offer comfort, to deliver hope to regions where hope is scarce."

Don't you agree? Who of us hasn't received a casserole, a cake, a loaf of bread, or a batch of cookies from a kind and thoughtful neighbor after we've lost a loved one? When my mother passed away in 2019 I thought I was going to die myself, I was so overcome with grief. Thank the Lord for tender-hearted neighbors who brought in some meals and checked in often as the weeks passed. They did indeed make better my life with the comfort they offered.

So this said then, how about we, as a Cook'n Newsletter family, rally round our friends and neighbors with some wonderful home-cooked, home-baked specialties? I'm sure Sam Sifton and yours truly aren't the only ones feeling the heaviness and sorrow of the horrific things going on in this country. Why not do what we can to offer a little comfort and sunshine to someone at this time?

Here are a few easy ideas for things to make for sharing. These say "I'm thinking of you and hope you're doing well!" We can't do anything about the craziness in the world, but we can do something to mitigate its effects on those around us. Being a kind neighbor works miracles!

  • A cup of fresh-minted sugar
  • A loaf of Lemon Poppy Seed bread
  • A bottle of homemade Ranch Dressing
  • Your favorite yellow cake decorated with rainbow sprinkles (who isn't cheered by a rainbow?)
  • A batch of homemade caramels
  • A batch of sugared and spiced nuts
  • A batch of homemade granola
  • A plate of peanut butter Rice Krsipy Bars
  • A quart of Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
  • A pot of homemade chicken noodle soup
  • A batch of homemade cinnamon rolls
  • A bowl of fresh strawberries and jar of freshly whipped and sweetened cream
  • A stack of your favorite homemade cookie varieties
  • Your favorite pie in a disposable pie pan

And if you're not up to cooking or baking at this time, but would like to reach out anyway, why not turn to ready-made items, such as:

  • Bottles of kombucha and favorite coconut water
  • A basket of favorite crackers and cheeses
  • A package of bacon and basket of tomatoes from your garden (BLTs are always a comfort)

You get the idea. Whatever you give, the point is, we can help each other get through the malaise that might find any one of us at any time. Let's never forget we can do SOME thing to spread a little sunshine!


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author!

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