5 Minutes for Books — Comfort Food

Last week I was sick. It was one of those things that came out of nowhere. One day I was fine, but the next day I woke up with my nose dripping like a faucet and major sinus pressure. Fortunately, the day before I had just received a copy of Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs. Feeling rotten was as good an excuse as any I could think of to devote some time to dig into this book. I spent most of the morning curled up on the couch with my book while Kyle watched TV. I can’t think of a better remedy. The only problem with my self-prescribed cure occurred two days into this weeklong affliction when my eyes were too itchy to read.

I was familiar with Kate Jacobs’ first novel The Friday Night Knitting Club. I had certainly heard about the blockbuster best-seller that Julia Roberts has signed on to produce and star in, but I hadn’t read it (after enjoying Comfort Food so much, it’s definitely on my to be read list). Knowing that Comfort Food offers a peek into the life of fictional celebrity cooking host Augusta “Gus” Simpson, I was immediately drawn to it. A book–about food and the life of a foodie?–for a bookworm like me who reads cookbooks like novels and also indulges in reality food TV programming, this was an irresistible combination.

The novel lived up to my expectations. I was quickly drawn into Gus’s life. The book opens with her contemplating her favorite comfort-food.jpgcomfort food–birthday cake–as she’s about to turn 50. Gus was featured on the Cooking Channel due to the success of the small luncheonette that she opened after her husband died suddenly, leaving her with two young children to support. She immediately achieved success and stardom being the hostess that everyone wanted to be, but it came at the expense of her relationship with her daughters. Now they are adults dealing with their own problems, and perfect Gus suddenly has some problems of her own. When the Cooking Channel begins to falter, the one thing that Gus has been good at–her career–is in jeopardy. When she is forced to team up with a hot young chef, Carmen Vega, to see if they can create a successful new show, sparks fly–between siblings, mother and daughters, members of the opposite sex, and jealous co-stars.

Kate Jacobs describes the characters this way. “They have to tackle what’s on their already-full plates and learn to accept the different flavors in each bite of life: Some are bitter, some are sweet, and some are a combination. Together, all the different flavors make up a perfect meal.”

I could apply the same recipe to Comfort Food : The eclectic cast in this delicious novel comes together after a quick pan-searing. The flavors meld, with nothing too spicy (language or adult situations), and a plot that lingers long after your first bite. After indulging the reader will be left satisfied, yet hungry for more.

Check out Kate Jacobs’ website for more info on Comfort Food, including a reading guide and an excerpt. She also has created a site for the fictional Cooking Channel, complete with recipes.

Would you like to win one of 5 copies of this novel? Share your recipe for success when you need comfort. Is it a favorite food or beverage? Perhaps an activity? I think that for me it’s gotta be books.

The winners of last week’s book, Roadmap to Holland, are

#134 Michelle Rosborough
#69 Sara Alvaro
#138 Kathy Pease

Comments

  1. Marla says

    It is definitely snuggling with my two little maltese. They love me unconditionally! (But I love to read too).

  2. says

    I clip on my iPod Shuffle and take off for a twenty minute walk. Music inspires and energizes me. I think I’m most comforted by music.

    Books give me space to process what’s going on in my head, clearing the clutter while expanding my horizons.

  3. says

    One huge comfort to me is reading!!
    when i was a little girl and my parents were having financial and relationship problems i learned to find comfort in books and stories!!

    My dream day is still to stay in bed and read. It doesn’t happen to much with four kiddos, but every now and then…

    Nice review!

  4. says

    Journaling while listening to music does comfort me, but in times of trouble I am most comforted when I sit in an empty church and meditate.

  5. Carol says

    I make myself a cup of Chai Tea, sit in my comfy chair, and call my cat to sit with me…and she comes. Totally relaxing.

  6. says

    I adored the Friday Night Knitting Club. I devoured it in one sitting. I’m such a foodie and a complete bibliophile. I must have this book!! I hope I win it, it sounds wonderful!!

    Comfort is wrapped up in the down comforter with a good book and a quiet house. Not that it happens often, but it’s still comfort. A piece of Dove Dark doesn’t hurt either 😉

  7. says

    Sewing therapy! I just dug out my sewing machine a few months ago, after YEARS in storage, and I can’t believe how much happier I feel to have that creative release! I’m trying to lose ten pounds, so I’m trying to stay away from emotional eating, and I find that sewing can be very therapeutic. Plus, you end up with a cool finished product! :)

  8. says

    Comfort for me is definitely snuggling on the couch with my hubby & watching a movie – that ALWAYS makes me feel better! Thanks for having such a great giveaway; I love books!!

  9. SHARON FAIRCLOUGH says

    I enjoyed snuggling up with a good book especially a book that focus on a new hobby or such

  10. Liz says

    Soup is definitely my preferred comfort food. And being an avid reader and a bit of a foodie myself, this book sounds perfect!

  11. Pamela Lytle says

    Yep, I go right for food when I need comforting – usually a pot of soup or a big pot of meatballs/sauce or something involving mashed potatoes!

  12. Erica O says

    My favorite comfort is going to pick up my mom and going for a ride or doing a little retail therapy!

  13. says

    I am a book nerd! I would chose sitting down with a good book to taking a jog or eating ice cream any day! I’ve never heard of this book, thanks for the recommendation!

  14. Virginia Murr says

    When I need comfort . . . well, that depends on WHY I need comfort. If I am sad, I turn to my husband for a hug. If I am upset with my husband, I eat macaroni and cheese. If I am angry, I workout. And, if I am generally stressed, I hop in a hot bath and read for about two hours.

  15. says

    definitely books. we’re four days away from moving, and i can sure tell you that i escape into books periodically for respite! although potato chips, buttery air-popped popcorn or warm chocolate chip cookies are also really good!!

  16. Marcia says

    My recipe for success is taking time for myself to read, shop, or just watch tv and gather my thoughts together.

  17. Megan B. says

    My comfort food IS food…either that or Pliates or finding comfort in my husband. But usually I go straight to a heaping bowl of pasta, unfortunately!

  18. says

    A good book and a hot bubble bath always works — followed by a new coat of paint on my toenails. :0)

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Megret

  19. says

    I like to get a good book, a diet coke and climb into the bathtub and soak. Or if there’s time, head to the bookstore to spend a couple of hours.

  20. says

    Friday Night Knitting Club was a fantastic read! That’s exciting that they are making it into a movie. I definately want to read this one. My newest “comfort food” has been sewing. And when I don’t have time for that peanut butter out of the jar is an excellent stand-by!

  21. tangie c says

    My very favorite comfort food is my husband’s cooking!!! Whenever we are ill, or just down, my husband makes a huge pot of his chicken pauperkosh!! Just it’s smell comforts me!!! My kids love it too!!! My 2 youngest kids had the flu last week, and my husband and I were sleep deprived because for 3 nights my sick little 18 month old wouldn’t sleep! So we were all comforted by this food!!

  22. Heather says

    Hmm. Depending on the time of day I need comfort, it is found in a latte, baking, making Bacon Leek and Tomato macaroni and cheese and eating it, or a hot bath with either hot or cold tea depending on the season, and a really good book to read while in the tub~! And essential oils.

    Lalycairn at gmail.com

  23. says

    Baked good are my comfort food. And coffee.

    They go well together don’t they!? They would be even better with a book in hand.

  24. says

    For me it’s a big cup of sweet tea, a good book, and a couple of kitties to cuddle with. Ahhh. Hope I win the good book. 😉

  25. says

    in the winter time: music (like “Lakeside Retreat” instrumentals), hot tea, a book…and chocolate!

    in the summer: iced tea, an actual lakeside, and a book

  26. Tonya Keener says

    My favorite comfort is spending time with my daughter. When my daughter was five my parents took her from me due to my alcoholism. I moved to florida April 4 2007, the day my daughter turned 19, with 10 1/2 years sobriety, my car payed off and money saved for the move after years of working two and three jobs.
    mothers day 2008 I saw her get her associates degree with 3.8 GPA. Even though she lives five minutes from me, she sent me a card saying thanks for being at my college graduation, standing beside me and cheering me on.

  27. Eloise Carlson says

    My favorite activity for comfort has to be going onto the deck and watching the sailboats and fishing boats out on the water. They always look so nice out there! Thanks for a great giveaway!

  28. Rita A. says

    I go swimming. I am a water sign and to be surrounded by the water makes all the stress melt away and allows me quiet time to think things through.

  29. Catherine copeland says

    for me comfort food is spelled Mac & cheese. gooey, fat filled, mac & cheese. for dessert chocolate ice cream (can we say ben & jerry?) i curl up in bed, wrap the covers around me and hug my pillow

  30. says

    When I need comfort, I call my sister to go grab a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie. She does the same with me. Heck, I love doing that even when I don’t need comfort!

    I’d love to win this for my best friend, a foodie!

  31. Jessica Maurer says

    When I need comfrot I bake a large bowl of homemade mac & cheese. Then I call my mom. Doing this always makes me feel better.

  32. says

    When it’s time for comfort, I call my mum and have a good moaning session. Then, I wait until my little one is napping; I leave the dirty dishes stacked up in the sink, I leave the laundry where it’s been strewn and I block out the world for a bit by immersing myself in a good book and snacking on chocolate raisins:)

  33. says

    Chocolate, Coca-Cola, a salty snack and then curling up with “Little Women”, “100 Years of Solitude”, “Love in the Time of Cholera” or any of the Harry Potter books. If I can’t read then give me Mary Poppins, Little Mermaid or Cinderella and I’m a happy camper…but gotta have the chocolate!

  34. Erica G says

    I love ice cream!! If it is nice out I may go swimming. When I go under water I imagine blocking out the whole world.

  35. says

    When I need comfort I cuddle up under my soft microfiber blankie and watch a DVD with a bowl of microwave popcorn. I love cold winter nights so I can do this!

  36. Laureen says

    Kinda counterintuitive, but either a bowl of warm pasta with great sauce or a walk through the neighborhood for some fresh air.

  37. says

    My “comfort food” is definitely reading. Whether it’s a novel that I’ve been dying to dive into or a magazine, there is nothing like curling up on the couch or in bed to relax me!

  38. Cindi says

    Hello! What a marvelous sounding book! I love a book with quirky/eclectic characters. My “comfort food” is working in and looking at my flower bed. It is full of color and variety. I love it. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks, Cindi

  39. Meredith Peters says

    I instantly feel better when I talk to my husband because he loves me unconditionally no matter how rediculous I may be. He’s always supportive and loving and gives a great pep talk!

  40. says

    When I used to need to unwind during stressful times, my husband would take me to Pzza Hut for their pizza sticks and a soda. We got a change of scenery, had some time to relax and talk about things, and it didn’t cost a lot to have a bit of a mid-evening snack, before going home, hopefully ready to take on things anew in the morning. That used to work great before kids, but come to think of it, we haven’t done that in a very, very long time now…too long, in fact. Perhaps we should try revisiting that kind of date night again sometime.

  41. Amy L says

    Cuddling on the couch with my hubby comforts me. A cup of chamomile ginger tea relaxes and sooths me.

  42. Deborah R says

    I am comforted by putting on a pair of jammies, snuggling under a favorite blanket and sipping hot cocoa. Good grief – have I entered my 2nd childhood already?

  43. Rhonda Clemens says

    CHOCOLATE IS MY COMFORT FOOD :)

    What a great site…..Keep up the EXCELLENT work!!!!!!!!!

    Please enter me & Thank you :)

  44. M.A. says

    HOMEMADE HOT FUDGE:
    running hot and thick over a big bowl of ice cream
    —–or straight up, spoon to mouth!

  45. Dorothy says

    It depends on the time/day/stressor. I would first try a long walk on the trail with my dogs and my Higher Power; talking to my partner or my mother, both give me solace. Reading is my favorite indoor escape ~ this looks like a GREAT read!
    Thanks for the contests!

  46. P Hafner says

    For me it’s some cuddle time with my husband. Nothing like a big hug to make things seem better.

  47. Maureen says

    Sadly it could be food (baked goods). Also can be hiding in my bed reading or sleeping. Thanks,
    Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)

  48. Christine says

    For me, it’s cuddling up with hubby and a great cup of coffee and watching a wonderful movie. Thank you!

  49. alison says

    I love to relax with a good movie, or take my kids to the park to get out our energy and have fun as a family!

  50. Noelia Gutierrez says

    First take a shower then Get yourself relaxed and put some lilac lotion on to relax. Then turn off your phone and get one of your favorite book and just stay in bed and read! Thanks

  51. says

    I always go back to a favorite comfort food that takes me back to my childhood, especially if it was one that I remember watching my greatgrandmother cook :)

  52. cheryl c. says

    Reading does it for me. Nothing relaxes me and takes my mind off stressful things like a good book does.

  53. Cory Huisman says

    I pick up my knitting needles. I can’t wait for Friday Night Knitting Club movie to come out.

  54. Shania Duncan says

    In the winter I take a long, steamy, aromatic bubble bath in candlelight. Then wrap myself in a fluffy, cozy bath rub and curl up with a mug of cocoa or tea and read a firey romance novel.

  55. JJ says

    Just like you, I like to snuggle up in my warm bed with a good book and an ice cold pepsi. And if my DH wants to stop by with a nice sandwich, I wouldn’t argue.

  56. danni says

    when i get a migraine, my 2 1/2 year old will tell me “it’s ok mommy, where does it hurt, i’ll kiss it” and then he goes and gets me an ice pack and tells his father to get me brownies and a magazine, after all of that i can’t help but smile!

  57. Lara Aleff says

    When I need comfort, I make me some iced tea, curl up in a blanket, and put on reruns of the Golden Girls. A little humor is very comforting.

  58. Michelle H. says

    Iced mochas, good quality chocolate, and sourdough bread with butter are some of my favorite comfort foods.

  59. Kathy S says

    In any kind of weather, I enjoy my mug of hot cocoa.
    It’s my special low calorie recipe, but gives me the comfort of that good old chocolate taste. I use real dutch unsweetened coca, skim milk and sweet’n’low. A real treat with my little cat curled up on my lap, at any time.

  60. Leigh says

    Ingredients for 100% inner-peace:
    1 warm blanket
    2 young children
    An infinite number of stars

    First, disable all ringers and turn off porch lights. Preheat some snuggles, and wait until the oven that is your yard this time of year has cooled to a comfortable, but crisp, temperature. Spread fuzzy blanket on grass, and count stars, wish on the shooting ones, and keep an eye out for satellites. Press 1 child to your side, repeat with other. May additionally need to add bug spray (optional). Your recipe is done when 1, or all of you, starts snoring. 😉

  61. Sand says

    I watch movies, order pizza and eat a ton of ice cream. So unhealthy for the body but it does help the spirit – just a little.

  62. Tanya Moyer says

    For me comfort is a Starbucks Grande Mocha Frappacino, my laptop reading blogs and a quiet house while the kids are at school! Great giveaway! Thanks for offering this!
    ~Tanya
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  63. Bobbye F says

    I like to hide away in my room and just daydream for a few minutes. If I have a moment for me then life is good! Oh and a piece or two of dark chocolate can help from time, to time!

  64. Zipporah Sandler says

    For me “comfort food” is my mom’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes while wearing my favorite pj’s & reading travel guides to places I like to dream about going one day.

  65. Donna Kozar says

    I call Papa John’s and bury my sorrows in a pepperoni and mushroom pizza. No, I don’t work there, but they deliver.

  66. Heather says

    An ice cold Dr Pepper when it’s hot outside and a roast chicken and garlic mashed potatoes when it’s cold!

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