Food for the Soul — “Comfort Food” by Kate Jacobs
Food is everywhere. It provides nourishment, plays a large part in learning one’s cultural roots, maintains our ability to function, and in many cultures, is part of one’s rite of passage, or in the case of Kate Jacobs’ novel, rites of passage.
We blog about food, as mothers, it is always on our minds—what to make for dinner, what to feed our little ones, organic vs generic, what restaurants are kid friendly, what restaurants are date night friendly, how can we cut our grocery bill in this economy without sacrificing the quality of the food we buy. On a bad day, we can turn to food to provide solace. On a good day, we turn to food to celebrate our bodies and minds. Kate Jacobs captures the human spirit in her book “Comfort Food” and brings back my memories of my 29th year, obsessing over my “checklist,” what was coming next, where I was in life, where I was going, where my life needed to change. Like the main character, Gus, my life came to an impasse (abet 20 years younger) and food and drink played a huge part in that. I started entertaining again—the bigger the party the better, regained a love of food that I had discovered on my own (my mother to this day eats because it’s a necessity and hates to cook even though she did almost every night when we were growing up—sorry mom!), and as I am staring the big 40 in the face next year, my favorite room in the house, as it was ten years ago, is the kitchen. In the kitchen, I have loved, lost, celebrated and mourned, over wine, homemade applesauce, pot-roasts, birthday cakes and the occasional bag of chips.
Like Gus, without the career in food, I have spent my life in the kitchen, entertaining, concocting, debating, finding solace, finding my soul. Gus is real, even for those who are kitchen challenged. For those of us who love the kitchen she is our mirror image on the Food Network, whichever chef is closest to our hearts. For those who are kitchen challenged, she is the waitstaff that directs us to the menu item that becomes our "usual" or the person behind the deli counter that saves the day once again in a pinch before a dinner party. Gus is a thinker, an artist, a doer. She is the modern day woman, the modern day mom, with her forte being the kitchen.
Life is a celebration. Bring on the food that creates our everyday memories and gets us through the mundane as well as the challenges that arise. Bring on “comfort food.”