COMFORT FOOD

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach).”

Food has always been a source of comfort for me, yes, even a problem.  When I was young I would imagine that my mother was in the kitchen making a pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  The smell would fill the house and sneak out the front door to tell us that it was time to eat.  By the time we were sitting at a nicely set kitchen table, a new aroma of cookies would waft by to let us know what was for desert.  My idea of family would be prayers before we ate, light conversation about our day over the meal, and a delicious sweet to top it all off.  I had watched enough TV shows to know that there were families that actually lived that scene every night.

The truth of my young years was that there wasn’t a mother with an apron grilling and baking for her beloved family or a father at the head of the table.  A homemade feast was reserved for holidays prepared by my grandmother, and a couple of times a week that would be cooked by my grandfather.  It would be his famous spaghetti with bacon and onion or steak and baked potatoes. Every other night we would be at a restaurant.  It was The Jolly Rogers on one night, The Hangman’s Tree on another, and Delmonico’s Pizza on Friday nights.  They would have their cocktails and order us a Shirley Temple.

I was married and had children when our dinners became what I had dreamed of all of those years ago, without the apron.  My favorite dinner to serve to my family of five was enchiladas, rice, beans and tortillas.  It warmed my heart and me feel like ‘home.’  This became my real comfort food.  We all sat at a table together and talked, sometimes yelled, had seconds when we wanted, then cleaned up the dishes and put away the left-overs.  It wasn’t just the food that gave me that feeling.  It was my children’s laughter, my husband’s playful ways in the kitchen, and the love that was portrayed by how we treated each other.  That is what fed my soul.

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