Ahhh – the warm (or sometimes cool) comfort of food. There’s nothing quite like it. It energizes us when we are tired, it fills us when we are empty, and it takes our thoughts to places our souls long to be.
What exactly is comfort food? I believe the definition varies depending on who you ask. Some might describe the foods of their childhood or home growing up. Others picture comfort as the foods they eat when feeling stressed, sad, loved or even angry.
Where do I fit into the equation? Well for me, comfort food is purely nostalgic. It takes me back to a simpler time around the family dinner table enjoying Mom’s home-cooked meals. I’m envisioning chicken fried steak, creamy gravy and mashed potatoes; pot roast smothered in rich brown gravy, carrots and southern green beans; roasted turkey with all the fixin’s; and of course I can’t leave out my Mom’s chicken spaghetti. These foods transport me back to Sunday meals after church, family holidays and my deep Southern roots.
These were my go-to foods when I needed to be reminded of Texas after being gone from home for so long. No matter how hard they tired, and I applaud every effort, California and Arizona just weren’t able to get it done for me. Crazy how something as simple as food can be so personal, and have the ability to take me home with just the right mix of ingredients.
Looking for a different perspective, I turned to my husband. He told me that for him comfort food is directly related to emotions. When he’s stressed out, he turns to Italian food; particularly a good slice (or three) of pizza. Whenever he comes home from a long day and says, “hey, do you want to order pizza,” I always know that I should say yes or endure an all-night session of computer work and hair pulling.
On a sad, gloomy day all he wants is grilled cheese and tomato soup. I will add that the sandwich has to be made with Velveeta or it’s just not right. This combo also works on cold, rainy days to warm his bones. When he’s ready to celebrate, my husband turns to sushi. It just occurred to me that maybe we need to find an emotion which leans toward salads!
Yes, comfort food is all in the eye of the beholder. Whether it’s to take us back to our glory days, or to feed our emotions, we all have those go-to foods. Now for one last question … is it a coincidence that the four months pregnant mom is the chosen expert on this topic? I doubt it. J