Thursday, February 12, 2009

Comfort needed ASAP

It's been an awful five days in Victoria.  The direct effects of the worst natural disaster in Australian history are mostly unfathomable for this urbanite sitting comfortably in Melbourne, but the proximity of death and destruction has made for many tears, much hand-wringing and a sombre mood.  

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?

2 comments:

Bowling Ball said...

It is a beautiful image, lines of small hatchbacks driving in to deliver sponge cake... I'm finding it very hard to not be very disassociated about the whole crisis. I find myself analysing the way the media's responding to it all rather than actually feeling anything about what's being relayed. As in, watching the shift from crisis, to Australians banding together, to the villains... I think all this means is that I'm an emotional cripple, but I guess we all have our strategies for coping.

cottonsocks said...

Yes, I've become rather cynical of late too - the rush of politicians, corporations and various media outlets to show what they're doing to help... but I guess that's ok if it raises more money...

Seems rather overwhelming that so many people are going through the awful funeral process all around us though. I'm on a kind of cynical/sad loop...