Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String


I marvel at human resilience and kindness. Defying all odds people exhibit joy, gratitude, and generosity wherever I look. I remember last winter buying a Street Roots collection of poetry that, without irony, was titled Gratitude and filled with words and artwork by people without homes.

I also marvel at human capacity for normalization. How did I go from, “Oh god, cancer!” to “This type of chemo is so much easier to take, and I look forward to surgery.”  And I  do not mean to compare being homeless and having cancer, in my case with all the privileges and resources imaginable. . . Being sick has just made me see those around me with challenges, small and large, more vividly.

Thanks to this easier type of chemo I’m also more fully enjoying the beautiful community I have in my medical team. One of my chemo nurses is Austrian American and has been looking for a good spaetzle recipe and technique. So we’re having a good time at chemo every Thursday talking about my spaetzle tests and what technique (cutting board and knife) works best. Recipe to follow here once I can taste more fully again!

I’ve taken to bringing in cookies to my oncologist and nurses who work to heal me every week. Food will always be the center of joy and camaraderie for me. It’s healing for me to be able to talk about and share these treats and ideas with the people whom I happen to spend a lot of time with these days, people I never imagined I would encounter, other cancer patients and medical folks alike. I love people and I am so grateful to the dozens and dozens of you all who are making this journey joyful and humorous much of the time.

14 thoughts on “Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String”

  • Renee Niquette says:

    Katherine, So good to hear you are doing well and food and cooking is such an important part of this journey. Think of you often as your name usually comes up in my food conversations with friends.
    Best of luck through this chemo journey and for a long term remission.

    Best Renee Niquette

  • Katherine, the easiest way for me to make my spaetzle is using a cheese grater! They are so tasty and easy to make! Glad to hear things are going better.

    Much love

    • cookwithwhatyouhave says:

      I only have a box grater and it would be hard to get the batter in there but I can see that with a flat one that would work well. I like my board method too though.

  • I have been cooking “with” you, for many years. I have followed your new journey as well, very happy to hear your traveling strong in the direction of health! Take care, and thanks for the updates.

  • Cindy Anderson says:

    Katherine; Can I re-post on my FB page with your name and website quoted? Would love to share your words, as I have family and friends going through cancer, chemo, amputation, and so many other personal challenges/changes in life. Your words are inspiring

  • So glad to hear your spirits are up, and you are cooking away! My Gourmet Group recently celebrated Oktoberfest together. The biggest hit was the homemade spaetzle!

  • Katherine, I guess I shouldn’t be amazed that you continue to light up our lives with your good cheer, beautiful observations about life, and endless stamina even in serious adversity. But I am amazed, and am so thankful that Barbara and I know you and have benefitted so much from your cooking expertise and wonderfully healthy and flavorful recipes! Looking forward to many, many more!

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