Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Food Again?

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of comfort food? I love to hear what people put in this category, because though there are some widely-recognized staples in American culture (such as meatloaf and grilled cheese sandwiches), everybody grew up eating different things and what comforts one person may sound totally off-putting to another.

Right now I'm going to town on a bowl of mashed potatoes and peas. This combo was a cornerstone of my childhood diet, and to this day I can't have those two food items on my plate without mixing them together, they are so perfectly matched and remind me of the zillions of suppers eaten around my Gram and Pup's full table.

One of my all-time favorite foods which I haven't eaten in years is elbow macaroni drenched in butter and cheese from a foil-covered can, you know that crunchy stuff? I've since graduated to the joys of fresh parmesan and say "pasta" instead of "macaroni" as the general term, but I'd take a bowl of the old-school mac-and-shaker-cheese any day. Also: pot roast made with Lipton onion soup, corn chowder with a peanut butter sandwich on the side, tuna casserole with chips or crackers crumbled over the top, buttered white-bread toast to be served with (and dipped in) hot chocolate, and baked beans. From a can or homemade, they're all good.

Why are carbohydrates inordinately comforting? Maybe just for me, but that's definitely the theme running through my choices here. Why is food so awesome? That's the real unanswerable question of the day. It just is. And I'm so lucky to have always had enough of it for me and my family. How privileged that I can look to it as a source of comfort and not necessarily survival. I can honestly say I've never gone hungry a day in my life, and I'll be damned if my child doesn't get to say the same thing. I will very likely never be wealthy, but if I can say that, I'm pretty much doing OK. Right now HR's on a huge cheese kick, but I'm sure he'll have many food adventures ahead. I'm looking forward to finding out what he looks back on with his own nostalgic craving.

In the "comfort food for the (1980s) soul" department:

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