What’s Bill T. Jones’s idea of comfort food? What dish does Cyndi Lauper love to cook? What the heck are stovies? (Hint: Alan Cumming loves them.)
For answers to these and other cuisine questions you didn’t know you had, look no further than the God’s Love We Deliver Cookbook (with food photography by Ben Fink), out this September.
For more than 30 years, New York City’s God’s Love We Deliver has been preparing and delivering meals free of charge to clients living with debilitating illnesses.
The organization was cofounded by hospice volunteer Ganga Stone in 1986 after she delivered groceries to a man living with AIDS only to discover when she returned the next day that, too sick to cook, he’d left them untouched on the counter. What he’d really needed was a meal prepared with love—exactly what Stone delivered when she next visited.
Today, with the help of thousands of volunteers, including some of the book’s notable contributors, God’s Love prepares and delivers 1.5 million meals to over 6,000 New Yorkers every year, even sending a personalized birthday cake to each of its clients.
So who better than the crew at God’s Love to deliver a book about the power of food to heal? Over two years, Jon Gilman, a God’s Love board member, and the late Christopher Idone, a cookbook author, reached out to a wish list of contributors for their recipes for dishes that evoked their most poignant recollections. As Meryl Streep notes in the introduction to her recipe (adapted from a friend’s) for Veggies From the Bottom of the Boot, a dish once brought to a supper of friends after a loss: “… sometimes [food] is the thing we offer to others as tangible help in times of distress.”
With an introduction by Ina “the Barefoot Contessa” Garten; easy-to-follow recipes from the likes of design duo (and husbands) Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler (Peach-Blueberry Cobbler), not to mention big-time chefs like frequent Top Chef judge Amanda Freitag (Salmon Fillet With Salsa Verde and Farro Salad); and photos that’ll have you drooling, the book mixes personal essays about food in general and the significance of the particular recipes that’ll make you tear up and sometimes giggle.
And if you’re one of those people who use the stove for storage only: Laurie Anderson’s got two (!) fail-safe recipes for peanut butter sandwiches that even you’ll be able to whip up.
The best part is, 100 percent of the book’s proceeds go right back to God’s Love We Deliver so its volunteers can keep on cookin’—and truckin’ those meals to those who need them most. Buy your copy of the book here.