Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's A Comfort

What is a "comfort food?" It's been described as anything simple that makes you feel good when you eat it. Often it's something that we remember being served in our childhood, perhaps when we weren't feeling too perky and someone took the time to give us the extra attention and care we needed to feel better.

Many times a comfort food tends to be bland and rather colorless. Mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or sugar/cinnamon sprinkled on white bread toast. Hot buttered noodles. Tapioca pudding. But it could also be something like a popsicle when you have a sore throat.

I have two foods that are my comfort foods. The first is actually more of a "comfort memory" I guess you'd have to say as I no longer eat it in the same way I did as a child.

When my mom and I were living with her parents during World War II because my dad was overseas, my aunt and her son also lived there because Uncle Win was serving in the Navy. My mom left for work early each morning so it was my aunt who made my breakfast on weekdays. On any morning that Aunt Sally would ask Jeff and me what we wanted for breakfast, we would chorus in unison, "Dookey Eggs!"

My dear aunt would then dutifully soft boil an egg for each of us, whack off the top, set the bottom upright in an egg cup alongside a plate with buttered toast that she had cut into four or five one-inch strips. We dunked (is that where the name "dookey" came from? . . . I truly don't know!) these toast strips into the soft yolk of the egg until either the toast or the yolk was gone, and then we would eat the rest of the egg by digging it out of the shell with our spoons. Such warm memories I have of my cousin and me sitting at Grandma and Grandpa's kitchen table while my aunt prepared our special "Dookey Eggs!"

My other comfort food developed around the time I was an early teenager. And that is potato chips.

My mom and dad both worked outside the home so until my brother and I were of a certain age, my grandma was at our house to feed us lunch at noon time when we came home from school which was in the next block from where we lived, and still there in the afternoon when we came home from school. But along about the time I, the oldest, turned 12 or 13, it was decided that my brother and I could stay at home alone after school until Mom or Dad got home a couple of hours later.

My favorite thing to do was to get home, change out of my "good clothes," get a bowl of potato chips, a big glass of orange juice, and curl up on the couch with my current reading book. Comfort, security, happiness.

Even now, close to fifty-five years later (omigawd!), if I'm feeling stressed or anxious or worried or just wanting to get cozy and hunker down for a needed rest and escape into a good book, I crave potato chips. Not your typical comfort food (nor very healthy), but that's what does it for me.

So! What's YOUR comfort food? Come on, spill the beans. It can't be as sinful as a big, ol' bag of salty, greasy potato chips!

19 comments:

Jennifer Jo said...

Popcorn. Peanut butter captain crunch with milk. Ice cream. Pretzels.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, JJ - No, no, YES!, no. :o)

Aimee said...

wow, orange juice, chips, and a book! Those were the days I guess. I was more apt to come home from school and get some sugary snack and watch cartoons - something I kind of regret now. If only I was reading books instead! Oh well.
Hmm... I think mashed potatoes and gravy and mac and cheese are comfort foods for me. Scalloped potatoes and ham... Probably almost anything I grew up eating on a regular basis - now I'm hungry! =)

Conny said...

Tuna Casserole. I sure could go for some now. :>)

Jenyfer Matthews said...

BAKED macaroni and cheese. Grilled cheese sandwich. Ice cream. Fried chicken. In other words, fat, fat, fat, and fatter.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Aimee - Mashed potatoes and gravy appeal to a lot of people, I think. Also I know of several people who say cold mashed potatoes . . . leftover and right out of the refrig.

Hey, Conny - Oh, ya. A GOOD tuna casserole! (Well, like who would eat a bad one?)

Hi, Jen - A health practitioner whom I really respect says that the body needs a certain amount of fat in order to function properly and that fat-free diets are BAAAADDD for you. Maybe you NEED to put a little fat on dem bones!

ThyHandHathProvided said...

My comfort foods seem to change over time. Right now they are granola with milk, pizza, hot from the oven oatmeal rolls...hmmm...can you tell I love carbs?

I loved hearing your food stories, by the way. I love food stories:-).

MaineCelt said...

Finnan Haddie served in a cream sauce over yellow (Finn or Yukon Gold) potatoes. Venison Stroganoff. Borscht served with a dollop of whole-milk yoghurt or sour cream and warm dark rye bread. Ice cream floats made with home-made vanilla ice cream and Virgil's root beer or a bottle of Moxie. Haggis with Neeps & Tatties. Och, AYE!!!

By the way, while we're on the subject of high-fat, high-carb happiness, check this out: http://www.fatnutritionist.com/index.php/if-only-poor-people-understood-nutrition/

MMmmm, YUM!!!

MaineCelt said...

Ooops, forgot to add the html for a clickable link. Here it is:

MMMmmmmmm, YUM!!!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, ThyHand - There's no question in my mind that there are those of us who are carb types and those who are protein types. I mean I just feel better when I eat carbohydrates! (Why do they have such a bad rap?) Unfortunately, my husband gets very cranky when he doesn't get his protein. Fortunately, he loves my hamburgers (would rather have one than a steak) so I will often make a meal with an added burger pattie for him.

Thank you for your kind words. But all these comfort foods! Now I want a pizza. NOW!

Mama Pea Quilts said...
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Mama Pea said...

Hi, MaineCelt - I think I need an education as to what most of your comfort foods are! Thanks for the link . . . a good one.

Erin said...

hands down, Beef Stew with Baking Powder Biscuits on top!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I eat plenty of fat - more yet if I can master your pie crust recipe!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Erin - I might have known that a whirlwind, full-of-energy gal like you would choose something as nutritious as this! ;o)

gucci-shoes-bags said...
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Melissa said...

This post made me really think about what I consider comfort food. A good pork roast with lots of onions, potatoes and carrots is always comforting, but perhaps nothing says comfort to me like a warm-from-the-oven Nestle's Tollhouse cookie with an ice cold glass of whole raw milk from the farm! Yum!!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Melissa - Cookies and milk! I'm surprised someone didn't say that before!

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