There are comfort food cookbooks, and then there are cookbooks that comfort. Janet Reich Elsbach’s Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting & Building Community One Dish at a Time includes recipes to make for family and friends (or strangers!) who need a little TLC. New baby? There are muffins for that. Living out of boxes? An upside-down cake seems about right. Sick or recovering from an illness? Soup’s on. Whether it’s a nourishing dish for a grieving friend or a huge enchilada bake for a church picnic, Janet’s recipes are an act of love, and empathy is the secret ingredient.
You’ll find recipes inspired by every corner of the globe in Extra Helping because every culture has a classic comfort dish worth sharing: a warm Aztec atole, a Chinese ginger pudding, congee, Aguadito, koliva. Janet believes eating the comfort food of a different culture is a sure way to develop compassion. This new genre of cookbook is welcome and necessary in a time when people feel increasingly divided. There’s no better uniter than food! We all have to eat. And, we can all feed each other in our own way. Janet’s way: A portion of the sales proceeds of every book will be donated to Feeding America.
— Robyn Doyon-Aitken