Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"i will try to find a little comfort in it"

the food: the power of grilled cheese
the song: "Get Lonely" The Mountain Goats

Did you know that April is Grilled Cheese Month? If you haven't already, you have 3 more days to celebrate the grilled cheese in all it's glory. Thanks to the husband's amazing cheese-detective work, we've enjoyed multiple grilled cheeses during this celebratory month. I sat down to post an accompanying  recipe...a really delicious roasted tomato soup. But when I started writing I was flooded with a memory of one particular grilled cheese. So in honor of April, I'll share my story of how grilled cheese saved my life.

In July of 2007, my step father suffered a heart attack. One month later, almost to the day, my mom had an accident while riding her horse and broke her pelvis. It was a very difficult few months dealing with the day to day realities of injury and hospital stays. I spent a lot of time helping them that summer, and because of their amazing attitudes and outlook on life, they thankfully came out healthier and better than before. Nevertheless, that summer was a difficult time for my family.

One night after leaving the hospital, sad, exhausted and scattered, I went to spend the night with my dad. On my way, I told him I hadn't eaten and was going to grab some fast food. He told me "Nah, that'll just make you feel worse. I'll cook something for you." When I got there around 10 o'clock, he presented me with a delicious, simple grilled cheese. He made it just the way he always has with white bread, butter, and American cheese. That meal sticks out as one of the better things I've ever eaten. It calmed me just like good comfort food should. That grilled cheese gave me what I needed to get up and go back to the hospital the next day.

One of the reasons I'm thinking about all this is because my 91 year old grandfather is in the hospital right now. He's been there for almost a month, and he's not doing very well. I'm heading up this weekend to visit him and be with my mom and grandmother, and I know it is going to be a tough trip to make. Today, while I have the time, I'm making my favorite cookies and simmering broth on the stove. I'm cleaning house and washing clothes...doing things that always make me feel better. And I made myself a grilled cheese for lunch. 

They say it's bad to medicate yourself with food, but is it ok to medicate yourself with cooking?  This time spent in my kitchen is giving me time to reflect and giving me something to focus on so my emotions don't taking over. I'm taking time to myself so I can be there for my family. The biggest comfort is knowing they'll be there for me, too.

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