Kitchen Chat Love Letter: TOH "Recipe Fairies"
Read Brittany DiBetta's moving letter in its entirety
My name is Brittney DiBetta, and at the risk of sounding dramatic, your magazine has changed my life. I am a wife to an amazing man and a second mom to the best son I could ever have asked for, and yet, I was very depressed.
A car accident in 1990 ruptured a disk in my lower back and neck, and now, I have had three spinal surgeries, many nerve blocks, therapies, injections, acupuncture and so on. Since I have been mostly bedridden, I have been throwing myself pity parties, and sadly, my husband and son have become guest of honors.
In late November, (the Dec/Jan issue of) your magazine showed up in my mailbox, and to be honest, I didn't even give it a second look. The cupcakes on the front were beautiful but way out of my league. Unable to work, I have a lot of time to feel sorry for myself.
Needing to make my husband dinner, I absently flipped through the pages of TOH, and there IT was...an easy recipe for the chicken breast that I was thawing in the sink! It was as if the recipe fairies were smiling upon me.
The next night I did it again. I sat down with the magazine and said out loud, "What can I make for dinner?" I had some cod fillets thawing in the sink, and just like the night before, there IT was—the recipe from Lesley Pew for Sailor Sandwiches!
Now, I am totally intrigued. As I thumbed through the pages, I see recipes that are so easy and so beautiful that I think even I could pull them off.
I have never been a good baker, but I had built up some confidence from the dinners of the past two nights and thought I could attempt one of the breads in the Feb/Mar issue. I started with the loaves. So far so good.
Now, I was ready to try bread using yeast! It may sound nerdy or dorky, but I was excited. It was the last thing I thought about when I went to bed and the first thing when I woke up! Yes, I'm not kidding. I was going to get out of bed and accomplish something on my own. Following every detail step by step, it is with great pride that I tell you, I made braided bread! I am so proud of myself, something I haven't felt in a very long time.
With my husband's encouragement, I have made five dinner recipes and four breads—all from Taste of Home magazine. I don't know if this E-mail truly expresses how I feel and how thankful I am that, somehow, your magazine found itself into my mailbox and I took a chance on the recipe fairies. I just bought the Taste of Home Baking Cookbook and made Coconut Banana Cream Pie. I will be asking the Easter Bunny for the TOH Cookbook. Speaking of Easter, Ardyth Cope's Easter story was very touching, so much so that I ordered and received the Doc Hinkle's egg dyes. We, too, have the annual Easter Egg painting contest. Every year, I do an unlikeness of the Wizard of Oz. My boys said it's played out, but with different judges every year, I still win!
The past six months have really taken a toll on me and, most importantly, my husband, Joe. Your magazine has not only gotten me out of a funk, but now I am able to show Joe how much I appreciate him and all he has done for me by making him great dinners and heavenly baked goods. It's important to me that everyone at Taste of Home know their hard work is appreciated, and that it's not just a magazine to some of us. Thank you so much for all you do.
Thank you so very much,
Fishkill, New York