In the Kitchen with Becky Satterfield

Executive Pastry Chef and Owner Becky Satterfield invited five palliative care doctors from UAB into her home for an afternoon of fun, relaxation, and baking.

Palliative care: specialized medical care for people with serious illness; focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness.

 

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If there is one truth in this world, it’s that nothing feeds our souls quite like good food does. In the South, it is strikingly true how we demonstrate our compassion for others in our offering of food.

It just so happens that six lucky doctors spent an afternoon with one of the best (and most caring) chefs in town.

Typical of a May afternoon in Alabama, the air was thick and still. Dark, gray clouds hovered overhead and threatened rain. None of this dampened Becky’s spirits. Ever the proper Southern hostess, she was all smiles as she welcomed each of them, one by one, into her home.

Watching Becky play hostess is almost like watching a piece of theatre. She is an expert at weaving stories together for her guests, keeping them entertained while she simultaneously gets to know each of them through sincere questions.

When it’s time to start baking, she’s sharp and direct. You can tell she is a restaurant owner and a mother. The doctors were given a crash course in doing exactly what’s asked of you when a chef asks you to do it. IMG_0508

Lovingly, Becky made careful corrections when something wasn’t precise. This afternoon was about teaching these doctors a skill they could take back to their families. If homemade pound cake with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream doesn’t radiate love, perhaps nothing does.

As she delegated and supervised, she incorporated her own tips, learned from a lifetime of experience, into the lesson. Certain things like measuring ingredients by weight, adding a little sugar to the eggs to get them frothy, and using European butter (it gives the pound cake an amazing flavor) are the sort of tips you don’t just read in a recipe.

The pound cake in the oven and the ice cream spinning, Becky used the remaining time to give her guests a tour of her gardens. It was the perfect opportunity to meander through the flowers and learn about horticulture. Luckily, the rain never materialized.IMG_0611IMG_0592

The tour over, the party returned inside to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Becky reminded them of its simplicity and empowered them all to do it themselves once they returned home. Bellies full of pound cake and ice cream, the doctors left with smiles as bright as Becky’s for what is sure to be an afternoon they won’t soon forget.

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The UAB Palliative Care Fellows were finishing their fellowship under the direction of Dr. Kay Knowlton and Dr. Sylvia Huang. The following have since completed the fellowship program: Dr. Elizabeth Carroll, Dr. Melissa Puher, Dr. Sandhya Mudumbi, and Dr. Brian Donohue.

 

From all of us at Satterfield’s, we would like to thank these doctors for the amazing work they do.