Cooking as therapy

April 8, 2009

Sarah and me

Sarah and me

Been a rough week in the Morris house. Sarah, our 14-going-on-21 year-old daughter started complaining about stomach pains Sunday evening. By 3 a.m. Joe and I were standing behind a one-way window watching our 88 pound little girl (she is still a little girl in my eyes!) rolling into the tube of  a CT scan machine at the hospital. Ouch. Turns out her appendix was inflamed and needed to come out, quickly.

Feeling so helpless while your child is in pain is the worst part of parenting. Being the skeptic that I am, I kept questioning the nurses’ suggestions. They are so eager to give pain medication and all I could think about was how little she is. “She does not need a full dose of morphine.” I kept reminding them. I was assured that all medications were given in proportion to weight. We are home tonight and I am happy to be cooking some familiar, comfort food to make her (and me!) feel better.

My friend Kristin Orsi Stone recently visited for a weekend and brought some homemade olive oil from her family’s ranch in Healdsburg. I’ve drizzled it on a Morris Grassfed flank steak and roasted fingerling potatoes with red onion, then tossed with fresh-cut rosemary from our garden, and salt and pepper. I may also open the 2004 Orsi-Papale bottle of Pinot Noir she brought. Visit

Olive oil from Kristin

Orsi Olive Oil

Kristin’s dad, Bernie, used to tend the most beautiful rose bushes at their house on Magellan Street in the Forest Hill neighborhood of San Francisco where they lived and we played. His love of the earth and of gardening now produces wine and olive oil, which we all get to enjoy. “La poesia del vino e scritta nella vigna.”  (The poetry of the wine is written in the vine.”)

I love that my connections from childhood can comfort me 30 years later as we sit down to share a meal and thank God that Sarah is on the mend. Thank you, Kristin – and all the Orsis – for making us all feel better!

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