Tuesday, September 10, 2013

food as medicine

Photos by A.V. Crofts

I have two friends who have recently spent time tending to their fathers in the hospital.

In one case, it was an unexpected illness that landed my friend's father in the ICU. I opened my computer one morning to learn that she'd been at his bedside for three days continuously.

I texted her immediately to tell her that whatever I could do, I would do for her.

She replied:

Pie always helps.

Now that's one smart friend. And a wise one: ask for what you need. Later that day, I wrapped up a freshly baked pie and drove over to Seattle's Pill Hill neighborhood, where we conducted a hand-off outside the hospital.

Later that day I heard from her again.

What kind of pie is this?
We're sharing it with a couple in the ICU with us.
They are from Wisconsin.
They thank you.

An ICU wing becomes a community that seeks strength in the face of fragility.

My second friend's father had a different hospital experience: his visit was planned months in advance and was for a specialized operation. My friend traveled across the country to accompany her parents through the process and help get them settled back in their Wenatchee home.

She stayed with me the night before the operation, and she was due to the hospital before dawn. In the wee hours of the morning as she readied herself, I puttered in my kitchen, packing a picnic she and her mother could enjoy over the course of what was going to be a long and emotional day. 

Fresh bead.
Chocolate. (Of course!)

Fast forward three days later. My friend returns from Wenatchee, her father happily healing, and presents to me a bounty of hot yellow peppers and tomatoes straight from her parents' garden. Dinners the last two nights have featured a large plate of fresh sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil. 

Food heals, but it also binds. 

This is one of the many reasons I love to give it.

1 comment:

  1. Bring me some pie, stat! There is no more qualified food doctor out there than the imitable Anita Verna Crofts. Thanks for the hospitality, as always, and of course for the bread, cheese and chocolate.