Friday, November 18, 2011

The Healing Properties of a Well-Stocked Pantry

My poor Mom had an emergency appendectomy on Monday. It was sudden and, from what I can tell, pretty darn painful. I left town on Tuesday to help care for her and lift her spirits. My Mom is a Nurse Practitioner and an amazing care-giver. Her style of care-giving is comforting to the core. She has a way that acknowledges your discomfort and addresses the issue so you feel safe and warm. As I've stepped into the care-giver role as an adult I hope to parrot what I've learned from her.

So, as I arrived to my folks' house, I immediately checked the pantry. I blurted out, "I will heal you with food!" My Dad chuckled. And you know what? As goofy as that sounds, I really meant it. I believed if I fed Mom good food, whole food, she'd feel better. Well, if nothing else, the house would smell nice.

For the last three days I've been cooking from Mom's pantry. I've not gone to the store once and I've made three yummy dinners:

  1. Tomato soup with grilled-cheese on whole-grain bread
  2. Spicy garlic pasta with spinach, tomatoes, and cannellini beans
  3. Udon noodles with Asian greens and tofu
Now, I don't know if it is the food or modern medicine (ok, maybe both), but she is better. I loved that I could just reach into the pantry and find good food, whole foods. I didn't have to run out to the store to do it!

How do you keep your pantry well-stocked? Sometimes when I grocery shop, I take my favorite cookbook to the store. In the front section of the book you will often find that the author will give you tips for creating a well-stocked pantry. My go-to is always a Moosewood cookbook. Make a list, it will help you stayed focused. Now, I am off to make Casey/Ned's popovers!

Thank you to my sister, Vanessa Rees, for the photograph!!