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For the last 18 months or so, every time I’m feeling very much in touch with grief and loss, I cook risotto. I didn’t set out to do this. There’s never been a menu planned for my pain. It’s just something I noticed I do.
So it is today.
Food is nourishment. Food is love.
The food we choose to make and eat often reflects our emotional state.
Making risotto is work; adding small amounts of broth and meditatively stirring until it’s all absorbed, then adding more to achieve just the right creamy consistency.
Risotto is not a necessary dish. It’s a gift, like my chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting.
Only, where my chocolate cake is emotionally versatile — birth, celebration, menstruation, welcome, comfort — making risotto feels like a ritual tailor-made for sadness. I make this when I feel like shouting into the void; when my permanently broken heart hurts; when the starker, more painful parts of my life feel too much to carry; when my head is just barely above water.
Chicken soup is the love I offer you.
Risotto is a small gesture of love and effort I can make for myself.