February 5, 2011

Why does my kitchen make me so happy?

The simmer of broth, the click of one spoon against other to make dumplings, the gentle roll of cookie dough and snowfall of confectioner’s sugar—all of this, comfort.

There are a lot of things I cannot control, but steel cut oats?  I can coax them into a warm, toothsome breakfast, with a sprinkle of cinnamon, Demerara sugar, and chopped almonds.  Give me chocolate and butter and my kitchen scale and I can conjure a batch of my brownies.  Set out a pile of vegetables, some bay leaves, peppercorns, & juniper and I shall render broth for Jill whose appetite has been thrown for a loop by chemotherapy.

I don’t know if love can be made liquid, if care and concern and hope and gratitude can make their way into a dish, but my time in my kitchen is my way of trying.  It’s also nice to feel shockingly competent at something after spending the week being new; I’ve never been the spouse of a cancer patient before.

What brings comfort?  For my mom, it’s the garden.  For Jill, it’s hunting in the field.  For others in my life: painting, computing, running, knitting.  For you?

No new recipe today, just a list of dishes that have been here before, plus a last-minute link to last year’s round up of Superbowl Sunday favorites.  Back soon, with a pizza!



green lentil soup

main dishes—

chicken & dumplings
game day chili
shrimp creole
spaghetti & meatballs


kheer (rice pudding)
peanut butter/almond butter cookies



  1. Thank you for the broth you lovingly set before Jill. Nothing says love like a steaming bowl of chicken soup. Thinking of you both. Carolyn

    Comment by carolyn truedell — February 5, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  2. Comfort for me these days is having the kitchen to myself for a few hours while my roommates are out!

    I hope things are well with you.

    Comment by Gemma — February 8, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  3. thanks to you both for your good wishes. and Gemma, I agree–nothing like having the kitchen to yourself! I’m sure it’s even sweeter when you are dodging roommates.

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — February 21, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

  4. […] Last week, I promised you a pizza and a pizza you have here.  It is a delicious one—wonderful wintry combination of ingredients, beautifully colored and the perfect choice for those who eschew tomato sauce-y things.   The funny thing is, I feel almost disingenuous posting something I made so many weeks ago; I’ve barely been in my kitchen since the month of February began. […]

    Pingback by BACON & BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIZZA « Blue Jean Gourmet — February 21, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

  5. What brings comfort? Stitching. A steaming cup of tea, a cozy chair, and a book. Adult conversation around a messy dinner table.

    Comment by Cheryl Arkison — March 2, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  6. […] This time last year, there was chemo.  There were long lists of scary side effects, orange bottles with big white pills, daily heparin flushes for the PICC line, and not insignificant amounts of fear, worry, nausea, and exhaustion. […]

    Pingback by CHEESE GRITS — February 1, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

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