Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Yellow-Splattered Stove for a Taste of Yellow


My great-aunt Margaret is currently undergoing yet another round of chemotherapy. I've lost track of how many she's gone in for surgery, or more treatment. It seems like years, and I'm sure it feels like decades to her.

During a previous bout, one of 'the cousins' (that would be my mom's) sent out an email to all the family members that kind of shocked me.

There were five girls in my Grammy's family. She's the oldest, and Margaret is the youngest. This cousin pointed out that all five of them, my Grammy & great-aunts, had been diagnosed with cancer. Three of them had died from it.

Grammy was one of the lucky ones. A diligent doctor discovered something that just didn't seem right, sent her to someone who would know better, and learned she had ovarian cancer.

She had a surgery, and a round of chemo, and has been cancer-free since. This was a few years ago.

My great-aunt, on the other hand, has seen the cancer spread despite surgeries and treatments. They cut it...and other things, I'm afraid...out, she bravely faces down more chemotherapy, and without fail, the cancer spreads, or comes back.

What was also mentioned it that email was the fact a doctor, many years ago, suggested all the women in the family get tested for a certain gene: all those women, my grandmother and her sisters, had DIFFERENT forms of cancer. Breast, skin, throat, ovarian, intestinal...too many to mention. And again, three of them died as a direct result of their diseases.

Nothing was ever done, unfortunately. And those of us a generation or two down never realized the connection.

My mother and aunts have been lucky. So far, no sign of any form of cancer. But it admittedly leads to a certain amount of paranoia. Is that a lump? Those pains...do they mean something serious?

That scientists can come up with a pill to give men a more satisfying sex life and re-grow hair, but a cure for cancer is still a distant dream leaves me baffled.

Not only that, but for many forms of cancer, we're still without means of detection.

After discussing family history with my doctor, I asked about genetic testing, and were there ways to detect this or that form?

She told me, sadly, that in many cases, there weren't. That she could test me for a certain kind today, but it would only tell her I didn't have it TODAY. Tomorrow, cancer cells could show up. It's just the way it is.

Depressing as it is, I try to have hope. So when Barbara asked me to join this year's LiveSTRONG: A Taste of Yellow event, I had to be there.

Using spices from my most recent Blogging by Mail package, I created a vaguely Indian dish. Onions, garlic and ginger cooked in oil & ghee till seriously soft, cubed potatoes, yellow chili powder, turmeric, cumin, peppercorns, cardamom and Indian black salt, as well as a good plain yogurt, added in and cooked till potatoes are tender. Toss in some frozen peas for a few minutes, and serve with rice.

Comfy and filling, it was decidedly yellow.

(I know I'm a day late with this, but it was too good a cause to miss.)

I'm hosting the latest Retro Recipe Challenge, and this time, it's all about Mom!

There's still time to join!

Pick a recipe from a year before your mother was born (thank you John, Paul, George & Ringo) and send those URL's in by Saturday, 26 April. So, tie up those apron strings, paste a pretty smile on your face, and get cooking!

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8 Thoughts for food:

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Lidian said...

My best wishes for you great aunt, Stephanie...and for all of the women in your family. What a wonderful event to bring awareness to us ll - and your potatoes look great, bring on the curry I say!

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Better late than never Stephanie;). Hugs to your great aunt from me. I hate the treatment that comes with cancer too. You just find a way to cope as the alternative of death is more frightening.
Thanks for supporting LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Thank you for your heart wrenching story Stephanie. I am so glad we all participated in this event to get the word out:D

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Lidian, thank you so much.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Barbara! I had the best of intentions, as always.
It'll have to be a cyber-hug (she's in another state), but I'll send it on.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

BV, thank you. You guys may have noticed I don't get too personal here, but yeah, this is a cause worth the effort.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Jeanne said...

Oh Stephanie, I had no idea that cancer has stalked your family so persistently. I know that two of my friends whose parents died of cancer feel it is like a cloud hanging over them - but as the doctor says, they can test you for X tomorrow, and next week you present with Y. So probably best just to live a healthily as possible, take care of yourself and enjoy life. Hugs.

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Jeanne...thank you. I honestly try Not to think about it too much. Gets kind of depressing!


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