The concept of comfort food, was created and shaped from the life experiences of its founder – christin boothe. The history of comfort food’s inception, details her multi-year journey as she experienced life both as a caregiver and as an individual who needed a caregiver. comfort food is her vision: conceived and crafted by her joys and her afflictions, nurtured into existence through her patience and determination.
This is the story of christin boothe. this is the story of comfort food.
Over the course of her battle with cancer, Mom had the support of family and friends. The fight continued over several years but Unfortunately, the community support dwindled over the duration of her battle. We all had good intentions, but we got busy living our lives. Mom wanted to shelter us kids from the terminal status of her cancer. As a result, The care giving fell mostly on the shoulders of my father. He did the best he could to juggle work, grief and providing care for my mother but, He battled his own health issues and grew fatigued with the burden of the care giving, although he never would admit to needing help.
During the hospice stay I found myself needing to eat, not wanting to eat, and feeling afraid to leave my mother’s side. I observed other families in the same dilemma as fast food containers piled up in overflowing garbage cans. I remember wanting, as we left the hospice facility for the last time, to somehow make a difference in the hard, dark reality that surrounds the process of losing a loved one.
A few weeks after the death of my mother I had the opportunity to travel, with the Loveland Vineyard youth group, to the Makah reservation in Neah Bay, Washington. Looking back, I can see the importance of this trip in my grieving process and in the birth of Comfort Food. As a sign of being accepted as friends, the Makah provided a meal to my group and shared with us their family songs. This experience helped me to begin to understand the beauty of meal sharing and its relationship to community. I also started to think of the practicality of providing meals for people in need. Not only does it meet a basic need it also helps to address to not as visible social and emotional needs.
Time passed and I went back to work. I couldn’t help feeling like there was something more for me. I just wasn’t content working in a cubical. The idea of comfort food started out as a passing thought. I considered nursing, but after careful consideration I realized that nursing wasn’t a good fit for me. Care giving was closer to my heart. I started to think about the ways that I naturally serve and I came to understand that i relate serving others with cooking. As a little girl I had a little play kitchen in my bedroom and I could be found cooking up something for my guests of teddy bears or trying to perfect peanut butter and Jelly cookies.
In June 2004 I resigned from my job and decided to go to cooking school. In my interview for the culinary school of the rockies they asked me what I was hoping to do with my education. That was one of the first times that I tried to articulate what was stirring in my heart. I was amazed that I got in and couldn’t’t believe what I was doing. Through the course of the program was it confirmed that cooking was in my blood. During our culinary gala there was an open forum for people to ask questions. The question was asked of us what were we going to after graduation. One by one we answered and, with much trembling, I swallowed hard and shared my vision.
There was an applause from the audience which was quickly followed by mocking from my head chef. I knew then that I had to follow through. I graduated top of my culinary class.
Sometime after graduation the name “Comfort Food” came to me in a dream. It seemed like the perfect name. Comfort Food has taken on such a negative connotation but, there was a lot of truth in the statement. There are studies that have proven that the brain releases endorphins that trigger the emotion of happiness when ‘comfort foods’ are being eaten. Mac and cheese, pot-roast, and pie and ice cream are among the top comfort foods.
I personally believe that there is healing in meal sharing.
after going through a lengthy physical recover process, following a serious car accident, I’ve further learned about the vital importance of care givers. I have more compassion for people who are living with chronic pain and understand what it is like to be a shut-in. As a part of the insurance settlement process, I met with an occupational counselor. through this process, I was evaluated for personal interests and I scored very high in thecommunity service category. I started thinking and praying more seriously about Comfort Food and I slowly started to open up to friends and my Tool Room family about what I was thinking.
As I became more comfortable sharing my vision for comfort food, I experienced an over whelming amount of encouragement as well as confirmation that I truly was wired for this kind of community service. I started to wonder if this idea might also be close to God’s heart and I researched how many times food was used in the ministry of Jesus. Let me just say that it was one of Jesus’ favorite ministry tools, as he was a big fan of bread and fish.
In my heart I couldn’t help but feel like that God’s heart cares for those who are suffering and desires to sow seeds of love and hope in dark, hopeless places. In addition, I wanted comfort food to be built with a “beauty from ashes” (Isaiah 61:2b-3) mentality. I believe that God can bring glory out of any situation. The thought of caring for others who are going through a situation that mirrors my mother’s experience, makes me feel somehow closer to my Mother. I think that she might be proud. I realize that the purpose of comfort food is so much bigger than I could ever pretend to be and Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It will have to be God that makes Comfort Food come to life