By Jessica Domel

I’ve decided, after much consideration, that food has the ability to bring families, friends and foes together, brighten someone’s day and sustain our lives. That’s a pretty big responsibility for anyone or anything.

The healing power of food stuck in my mind as I was thinking about a friend of mine who is going through a pretty difficult time. I was dwelling on my lengthy list of things to do when I saw a note on Facebook about her troubles.

In that instant, my to-do list faded to the background and I began to contemplate how I could best get a casserole or plate of cookies to her home. We live hours away from each other, and while I can’t be there for her in person, I knew that a plate of my chocolate chip cookies or my King Ranch Chicken casserole would let her know I’m there.

Food can have such power in our lives.

When I was younger, my father used to carry several boxes of donuts in his truck. I always thought he just had one heck of a sweet tooth, but as it turns out, he carried them so he could hand them out to the people working at the dairies he visited while making his rounds in Erath County to pick up cattle.

He later explained to me that dairymen get up early and work hard and that something as small as a donut could serve as a beacon of friendship while also providing a little pick-me-up.

It’s genius really.

I’ve found that food, too, brings people together in other ways. When I was living on our family farm, it was my grandmother’s dining room table that brought the men in from the fields and the kids from whatever we were doing at the time. Whether or not we were aggravated at each other, tired from school or just plain stinky from a day spent on a tractor, that wooden table and the homemade goods on it made us forget our worries.

I say all of this because I know that some days in the rush of getting to and from work and taking care of our families we forget that the tie that binds us wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the men and women who are sweating it out in fields and pastures across our great state.

It’s not an easy job, but I sure appreciate it. How about you?