HOW DO YOU show your support when someone is hurting?
A death in the family, illness, marital separation, a lost child … it can be hard to know what to do or say.
Our job is not to fix or to rescue.
Our job is to show up, be prepared to listen and say very little.
And bring food.
Eighteen years ago, my husband, 5-year-old son and I welcomed a baby with a severe genetic defect into our family.
He lived 40 days, and in that time, we received a lot of support, much of which appeared on our doorstep in a lasagna pan, no fanfare, no demands, just hearty nourishment when our hearts were breaking.
Since then, lasagna has always been my go-to meal for those occasions when some grief has happened and I don’t know what else to do or say.
Lasagna is all-American comfort food; hearty and well-flavored nourishment for the soul.
The following recipe is unapologetically time-consuming.
If you enjoy cooking, the time you take to salt the eggplant, simmer the sauce, grate the cheese and assemble the layers is a pleasure and so much more relaxing than Facebook.
But if the kitchen is not your happy place, then feel free to take some shortcuts.
For example, skip the eggplant and toss some sliced mushrooms in when you sauté the onions.
When I am short on time, I use a can or a jar of pre-made tomato sauce instead of making it from scratch.
And if you are in the middle of a crazy-busy week, just pick up the best frozen premade lasagna you can find at your grocery store next time you are food shopping and deliver it on your way home.
The important thing is that when you feel the urge to be of assistance … follow that instinct.
Don’t overthink it; just do something kind, in whatever small way you can.
Make your best lasagna full of protein and vegetables, and deliver it with love.
Betsy Wharton is a Port Angeles Farmers Market vendor, Washington State University Extension food preservation information assistant and a registered nurse at First Step Family Support Center. More about her pickling enterprise can be found at www.Clallam CanningCompany.com.