Comfort food isn’t always enough

You have all probably heard the heart-wrenching news out of Texas, where another mass shooting took place at an elementary school. Twenty-one families mourn an unspeakable loss, and a nation again grieves. For those outside the US who are aghast at the frequency with which these events occur, I wish I could explain why we have done nothing to prevent the tragedies, but the situation defies logic (and the wishes of most Americans).

In times of crisis, people frequently turn to the unspoken love language of food, offering it to grieving families, using it to self-console, or sharing it with others in solidarity. There are occasions, however, when comfort food just isn’t enough. This is one of them. I often turn on the oven, pull out the flour and sugar, and bake something as an almost reflexive response to stress or bad news, but not this time. No golden pound cake or gooey brownie could make a dent in the sorrow, although I have the comfort of knowing that there is a tomorrow for my loved ones and that my grief is but a whisper of that felt by the victims’ families.

I take solace in knowing that good still exists in the world. As I was scrolling through post after post of outrage and sadness, one positive entry caught my attention. It was the story of a cookbook filled with hope and love borne out of a tragedy that echoes recent news. The book, Yiayia Next Door: Recipes from Yiayia’s Kitchen, and the True Story of One Woman’s Incredible Act of Kindness by brothers Daniel and Luke Mancuso, tells a tale of how food passed over the fence by a neighbor helped the brothers navigate the fog of grief they felt after their mother was murdered in a domestic violence incident. Food may not be the answer to every problem we face, but it can provide small rays of sunshine in an otherwise dreary world.

Post a comment


  • Bloominanglophile  on  May 26, 2022

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought I heard that World Central Kitchen headed over to Uvalde. This news brought an almost-smile through my tears. Trying to keep folks nourished through this devastating time, I feel, is an act of love. I hope it eases at least a small part of the grief and stress that they have to face right now.

  • mharriman  on  May 27, 2022

    Bloominanglophile, you’re absolutely correct. WCK was in Uvalde yesterday and today according to their Instagram post (wck).

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!