My daughter Nora is going to Florence on Monday for a semester abroad. Her last two years in Providence made her distant enough from L.A., but Italy qualifies as S.F.A.. (That’s So Far Away, not Saks Fifth Avenue.)
To calm Nora during the pre-departure countdown I’m fulfilling her every food-related wish. I made her oatmeal cookies (using vegan bogus butter since Nora’s off dairy at the moment). What’s better comfort food than milk and cookies? (Almond milk, in Nora’s case.)
I didn’t stop there. “Can I make you a sandwich? Any fave dishes you want before you go? What do you want for dinner? How ‘bout some stuff to take on the plane? Anything, I’ll make anything.” When it became clear that I was getting on Nora’s nerves, rather than soothing them, I made a note-to-self to back off. She is going to Italy, after all. (I’m told they have food there.)
As most of you know, you won’t often catch me aggressively offering to cook like this. You might be wondering just who in this picture is the one who’s on edge. That would make you an astute observer of maternal behavior. I admit it: I’m jumpy. My nest has been half full all summer, and going back to empty is freaking me out, hence the bizarre hyperactivity in the kitchen. It is actually Tom and I who will be needing comfort food in the days ahead.
If you see us driving home from the airport on a Monday, you can be sure of two things. 1. Our tears will not be related to the traffic jam on the 405. 2. When we get home, we’re heading straight for the cookie jar.