My uncle died this week and it made me sad.
It made others sad too and that is tough for me because "happy" is what I do best and seeing others go through sadness imparts a feeling of helplessness on me that others could never understand. During times like this, my wish is that I could somehow take some of the burden from those dealing hardest with the pain. But sometimes, that's just not possible.
And that makes me saddest of all.
But, what I have learned is that people in pain - in pain from sorrow, in pain from loneliness, in pain from uncertainty of what life will bring next - just need compassion. Sometimes, though, it feels so contrived to say "if there is anything you need, please let me know", because what people need most of all is to know that everything will be okay.
Food, in a comforting way, makes me feel that way. By receiving food, it makes me feel like someone has given me the gift of time and love by cooking for me. But, even better, by baking myself and sharing with others, I not only feel comforted by the act of creating food that will nourish others during a time when nourishment is the last thing they feel they need, but I also feel fulfilled through the act of baking itself which seems therapeutic at the core.
I brought these cookies to my aunt who was married for 60 years to the man she loved. She is a strong woman, but I am sure this loss will seem insurmountable to her. She has spent many hours in her kitchen over the years baking for others in their time of need. I hope she knows how my heart breaks for her and that my gift to her helps her remember that things will be okay.
1 1/4 c cornmeal
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c butter, cubed
1 c sugar
grated orange zest (from one orange)
1 c dates, pitted and chopped
1 c almonds