I am always struck by how action - having something TO DO - is what one craves in a crisis and, unable to do anything of any actual benefit to the victims last Sunday as the shocking news broke, I did something weirdly comforting albeit ridiculously trite. I made pancakes for my mother and me. I flipped and we ate, I flipped again and we ate more and we watched one horror story after another. The death toll rose and the fires still burned. Doughy, buttery, warming and covered in sugary maple syrup it seemed both crass and obvious. We cried and ate and wondered what else to do.
Comfort food is important. I heard on the radio that cake was going down a treat at the hastily convened meeting places for victims, emergency aid workers and assembled media. I want to bake madly for them all but I know at the moment I'd be more trouble than help if I turned up in a danger zone with a back seat full of sponge cake. I think I'll do some serious cooking and foisting food on those around me over the weekend though. I think Nigella will help.
Toast, porridge, risotto, spaghetti bolognese, apple crumble, crumpets, piklets, rice pudding, cupcakes... what are the foods that bring you comfort?