You know what’s great? The second chemo drug I am on, Taxol, has not caused me the queasiness, metal mouth, taste bud changes and other annoying shit that the first drugs (AC) caused. Consequently I’ve been eating my way through the month of May. And cooking up a storm. I’ve definitely put on a couple pounds because of it too, which probably isn’t a bad thing.
You might think that cooking is the last thing a chemo patient would want to do. But it’s become one of my favourite activities. Makes me feel rejuvenated. Healthy. In control of what I’m eating and what I’m tasting. ALIVE. It’s, as Martha Stewart would say, a good thing.
I really have to thank my friend, Dee, who gifted me The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz. This is not just a cookbook for people who have, had or are being treated for cancer. It’s something anyone can enjoy if the name doesn’t give you the schkeeves. And if it does would you put-lease just grow up and get over it? Who couldn’t use some good cancer-fighting chow in his kitchen, anyhow?
Tonight I made carrot fennel soup. I bought this ridiculously overpriced American blender (the Blendtek) and I have been using it a lot to justify the price tag. Well, it was my fortieth birthday present to myself, so it didn’t require that much justification. But still. I’ve been having fresh fruit and vegetables delivered every week from an organic farm (no it isn’t Abel & Cole so don’t ask me that) and the fun part is that I never know what’s coming. So when the ingredients arrive, I take a look and figure out what I’m going to make.
The cookbook has had a recipe for me every time. Tonight’s contained olive oil, onion, fennel, carrots, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, sea salt, orange zest, fresh orange and lemon juice and vegetable broth. Ooh and a dash of maple syrup. That’s right! There’s nothing bad for you in there (unless you put too much salt or syrup but we don’t do that here).
One of my kids said it was delicious. The other one didn’t rave but at least kept dipping her green beans in it during the meal. I had two bowls. And my husband will be home soon so I better hear spoon scraping the bottom of the bowl in the next thirty minutes. Or I’ll be pissed (in the American sense — I am not on a bender).
I’d like to give some to the crying baby next door, maybe with an extra dose of red pepper flakes for the parents. I swear these people don’t know how to put a child to sleep. Two days with me and the kid would go right to bed. It seriously cries every night and we have been here almost a year. WTF.
This book contains a glossary of ingredients and their cancer-fighting properties. I haven’t vetted the science behind the claims but the recipes are great and easy, the food tastes wonderful and it all makes me feel so… so… so… cancer free. So I think it is working. Helping me kill it but in a very tasty way. Lots more fun than surgery, chemo and radiation combined.
So thank you, Dee, for this wonderful gift that just keeps on giving. I can’t wait until the next farm delivery so I can whip up another winner. And I need to have you over soon so that I can show you what all the fuss is about.