Zita Ganza remembers the pains of chemotherapy, but she also remembers the compassion she received, packaged in jars of homemade tomato juice and large pots of home cooked soups and casserole dishes. This kindness soothed Zita’s pains and carried her spirit through the hardest days of treatment.
Cooking for Zita is a new cookbook from the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster, Illinois and the St. John’s Women’s Club, which Zita Ganza is a member of. This book honors the community bonds that are strengthened when one person takes action in the kitchen and nourishes the body and soul of a neighbor in need.
The book is rich with recipes that range from comfort food to dishes that will fortify bodies in need, as well as ease side effects of various cancer treatments. But the golden threads in Cooking for Zita are the anecdotes and stories woven throughout the book from people who either received a certain dish during their cancer battle, or from their families and friends.
The note next to the Double-Baked Potatoes reads, “…My mom was a “fluffy” woman…and toward the end of her battle, she was no longer as “fluffy.” A double-baked potato was one of the very few things she would eat. Regardless of her pain, this dish would make her smile.”
The stories about and from mothers, fathers, spouses, children, friends and neighbors are perhaps more heartwarming than the recipes themselves. Cooking for Zita is a wonderful book that not only shows us ways we can enrich people’s lives, but reminds us how a simple gesture truly makes a difference for others when they need it most.
Proceeds from the sale of Cooking for Zita will benefit the Cancer Resource Centre, which provides all of its services free of charge to those coping with a diagnosis of cancer.
Cooking for Zita (ISBN 978-0-9795825-0-9; $24.95) is available from the Cancer Resource Centre by calling 219-836-3349, or online at www.cancerresourcecentre.com.
Cooking for Zita was edited, designed, and manufactured by Favorite Recipes® Press, an imprint of FRP Books, Inc. Since 1961, Favorite Recipes® Press has specialized in creating, producing and manufacturing cookbooks for non-profits and independent publishers like the Cancer Resource Centre and the St. John Junior Women’s Club.