Food is Love – The Importance of Comfort Food

When I was little at home my mom and I used to joke that “food is love”, because our cat Emma only seemed to show us affection when she wanted her dinner. But when I watched the film Burnt with Sienna Miller and she said “at its best food is [an expression] of sustaining someone with love” I realised that what my mom and I said was not so unique after all.

I’ve never really told this before, but the most beautiful and well received catering I ever did was actually for an alternative funeral. I recognised the gravitas of what I had been asked to cook for (and it was for 100 people) so I worked really hard to make a menu that could be “comfort in a bowl”. I worked on a recipe that would be gluten free, vegan and nut free so that no one in their sadness would have to be worrying about what they were eating and could just comfort each other. A lot of love went in to that food as I had suffered the loss of someone very dear that year.

Without exception I have never had so many people come into the kitchen to say thank you. For the food, for the way it was served, for the thought behind the menu. It brought me to tears.

This is a very short post, and I hope in future to put up the recipe from that day, maybe it should be called “A Hug in A Bowl” but I guess what I wanted to say is dont be afraid to use food to show love. I dont mean in an unhealthy, stuffing your face way, but when there’s a difficult moment in the life of someone you care about it can be really hard to find the right words. We are humans and not film characters, you can say the wrong thing, take too long to call etc. But food is simple, food is love. So bake that cake, put on that stew or pop that lasagne in the oven. When someone is in pain, food made with love can nourish the soul as well as the body.

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