“You must go to bed and rest” said the doctor, many many years ago.
How many days in my life have I longed for someone to tell me I had to go to bed and rest, just for a day or two. This edict long ago, was the requirement for the rest of my pregnancy. I was only 20 weeks along. I was headed to bed for a LONG winters nap. A friend from church called to see if she could set up a schedule of people to come and help out. My response: “O thanks so much but we are going to be just fine, really.”
This was the reality of my bed time – less like rest, more like jail. I was allowed to get up to go to the bathroom which was steps from my bed. I was allowed a shower or two – quick ones – each week. That was it. There would be no walking up and down the stairs. Walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher, even standing to pour a glass of waters was out of the question. There would be NO COOKING. Sure, “we” were going to be just fine. HA! I was young, inexperienced, a little stupid, certainly unrealistic and fiercely independent. Until…Mother Mary said these life changing words: “Laura, think about what you would do if you’re friend was sent to bed for a long time. You would want to help. When you say no, you take away the opportunity for people to be a blessing.” Who want’s to take something away from someone? I called her back with a different heart and answer.
My jailbed became a sweet spot for friend time, visits from the scheduled people, small group gatherings, and the christmas tree. I met another lover of old musicals and we watched them while eating pb&j. One lady would bring her handsewing, being productive while she visited. The dog got let out, the dishes put away, the fridge filled up, and JR could still work at his job! We would not have been just fine without people blessing.
When I hear of someone laid up, down and out, having a baby or a rough season of life I always think food is something I can do. I can’t fix broken bones or broken hearts, and I know how impossible it is for new parents to do much beyond take care of a tiny human who needs everything all the time from them. What I can do is find out what they like and don’t like, will and won’t eat and what’s the best time for drop off. Then I go to the recipe books and look for my best Comfort Food.
Comfort Food recipes are often the very ones someone brought me once upon a time. When you come home from the hospital and there is a beef brisket, a bowl of coleslaw, and a pan of brownies on your porch waiting for you, they are the very best brownies you’ve ever had, 5 star coleslaw, and brisket that ought to be served in heaven. Comfort Food has superpowered deliciousness. That is why you ask for the recipe. If recovering from a surgically fixed something you may make that recipe in the near future. If you come home with two tiny humans, the reproducing of delicious food will happen some day not soon.
Brother Jim is also bilingual: english and food. He has a killer special recipe burger named after him, the Jimburger. It’s worth every single calorie of your day. I’ve never left his home hungry as his wife can cook like The Pioneer Woman. We are so loved when we are with them! Yet, when I, his sister, returned home from surgery hungry for only one thing, he was able to put aside his mad grill skills and show up on the doorstep with a large, Strawberry hand scooped real ice cream shake, topped with whipped cream and cherry. Comfort food specific…thanks Brother Jim. (I never told you this Brother, but that act of kindness erased your debt for the not kind gift of black roses on my 40th birthday! You were finally forgiven…Just keepin it real man.)
Even if your love language isn’t food, it still is a simple, practical, doable way to do something when you hear of a need. Cheese and crackers, a platter of fresh fruit, take and bake pizza, Thai take out, or Costco roasted chicken all work real well. That little kindness in your world goes for miles in the world of someone in need of comfort food.
I’ll share the number one recipe of my Comfort Food list and take this moment to say thank you from the bottom of my toes to the tip of my noggin to anyone who ever brought our family food. You are a blessing. Glad I said yes.
Chicken Pot Pie (a la Pat J)
- 2 cans cream of potato soup
- 1 16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 cups cooked diced chicken (or turkey)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 2 – 9 inch pie crusts
- S & P
Combine first 6 ingredients. Place one crust in pie pan. Spoon filling into prepared pie crust. Cover with top crust and seal top and bottom crusts together. Slit top crust. Bake at 375 degrees about 60 minutes.
Now, go and be a blessing!