Cooking for Grief

How do you get over loss? When it’s the loss of someone special in your life, I don’t know that you do. This holiday season has been an emotional challenge for me. I lost my dad this year and food had kind of become our big thing. We’d talk about recipes or new spice blends we found. My dad would call me to ask about a recipe or a particular cooking technique. And the holiday season is all about food for me. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I do big holiday meals. And last year, I did a google meeting for my friends and family and had a lot of people in the kitchen with me while I made both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, including my dad, of course.

And a bunch of important dates are in the holiday season. And not having him around for those is tough. I didn’t even do the google meeting this year because I wasn’t ready to not see his face there. But I still threw myself into creating a fantastic Thanksgiving for my kids and grandkids. And I think I have been dealing with grief well. And then we hit the 18th. It was my dad’s birthday. I knew I couldn’t handle seeing the Facebook posts so I turned off notices, put up a post letting everyone know I wasn’t going to see or answer any posts and basically had a dark day.

But what to do during the dark day was another question. I initially got up and thought I’d go grocery shopping so I could make some broth. But I made a quiche first. As I was making the quiche, I realized I didn’t want to see people. I didn’t want to have to make pleasantries to the cashier at the grocery store. My husband is pretty awesome, and he volunteered to go if I made a list. Well, at this point, I’ve hatched all kinds of plans.

The next thing I know, I have a pork loin in the instant pot on the crockpot setting, set for six hours. I also have a pot of chicken broth on the stove, the first of what would end up being two pots. I had intended to also make mushroom broth and chili, but after cleaning the entire kitchen and making a dinner of slow cooked pork and a sheet pan of roasted veggies, I gave out. Don’t worry, I got up on Sunday and made the mushroom broth, put away the chicken broth, and then put on that pot of chili. My chili takes about six hours to simmer.

So yes, I had a dark day. And that dark day resulted in a freezer full of broth, a yummy pork roast and veggie dinner, a ton of chili and cooked chicken for a pot pie. I think my dad would be proud. Now, to make it through the rest of the holidays.

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