Friday, September 20, 2013

Comfort Food. Repurposed.

Back at Blogtember with this prompt: 
React to this term: comfort. 

com·fort food
noun: comfort food; plural noun: comfort foods
  1. 1.
    food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.
    (according to

My kind of comfort food doesn't come with that over-consumed, unhealthy connotation we all know and hate. It's food with deep roots in my childhood, a foot in then and another in my now. It brings back those deep feelings of joy, home, family, innocence. They summon Amber-child.

I understand where the negativity surrounding comfort food comes from, but don't think having emotions tied to food is inherently bad. Because on those days that feel so heavy, so bogged down, comfort food is there as a reminder of simple times and pleasures.

Angel food cake with farm fresh strawberries and home-whipped cream will always be birthday celebrations. The smell of the smoke off freshly wished-upon candles and the noise of poor harmonies singing Happy Birthday at the top of lungs. The fluffiness of the cake mimicking the hopes and wishes about the year to come: full of air and lightness, as it should be.

Forever granola will smell and taste like cool mornings on the sofa watching the news. That cinnamon crunchiness that swirls delicately, but powerfully through milk creating a balanced dance on the tongue. Granola summons the sounds of Steve Bosh and Michael Turko reporting the morning news as though our lives depend on them. The crunch between my teeth reminds me of the possibilities of today -not yet soaked through with the liquid of the milk, just as my day remains untouched and crisp with opportunity.

Pickles will always be a little piece of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland at six years old. Snuggling into the crook of dad's arm as the mechanical hippos charge our explorer boat with hunger and the animated driver shoots his cap-gun pistol. There's an edge of my seat feeling to pickles in that salty, sour brininess that mimics my booty on the edge of a wooden bench on Disneyland's perfect recreation of an Amazonian jungle cruise.

Vietnamese Pho will always fill me with warmth -not simply because of the broth- but, mostly, because of the sorority sisters who loved me enough to introduce me to it. I'll remember many Mondays spent sitting around a table in a restaurant across from campus slurping up rice noodles and sipping sake (or in the winter hot tea). It's heated with the giggles of a gaggle of girls sharing their weekend shenanigans while planning the epic events of the weekend ahead.

Barbecue, complete with baked beans, ribs, and macaroni, is the food of Mr. Thomas. The smell of the sweet sauce, the smokey meats, and the tangy sides fills the air, gently but thoroughly, just as he fills those around him. Meat and the fixings take me back to the day we wed, remind me of the meal we shared with those most precious to us, the sauce on his white sleeve after a dinner much enjoyed. Warm melted cheese and carb-filled comfort take me back to the bowl we shared nervously and excitedly in our pajamas soaking in those first moments alone as husband and wife.

Cinnamon tea is forever filled with words, theories, articles. Study tea turned writing drink. As it warms deep in my gut, it loosens ideas, creates inspirations, sets forth new thoughts to be expounded. Just as it provided minor heat in the cold air of the second floor of UCSD's library during finals study marathons back then, it calls my mind to keep vigilant and do good work now. The sharp mint upon my tongue keeps me awake, aware, and focused while allowing me to breath in the aroma of the deep cinnamon flavors.

Not all food is comfort food. Not all comfort food is nutritious for your body, but, oh, the wonders it does for your soul.

What food is your comfort? 
Where does it take you? 

I'm over sharing my struggles with perfectionism and the way God woke me up from the dangers of my obsession at Blogs by Christian Women today. Stop by and leave your girl some love... Plus, check out the fabulous ladies who've shared there before me! 


  1. Macaroni and Cheese. without a doubt. There is just something about it that brings me home.

  2. chicken soup with dumplings. takes me back to the birthday dinners talking about the day we were born, and to my grandparents houses on winter sleepover days. (obviously i have more, just like you, but that would take a whole essay.)

  3. Mmmm. This made me hungry - and very nostalgic.
    My comfort food is a cup of coffee - while I'm half asleep watching my husband prepare for his day. In the same way he prepares his outfit - I prepare my mind for the day ahead.

  4. Oh girl. With bacon. And gruyere cheese. This is my heaven. It's also ALL I ate on our wedding night. Seriously. Bride downing bowls of mac'n'cheese.

  5. This. Just yum. We have turkey and dumplings the day after Thanksgiving every year. Oh the delight on a cold November day.

  6. Yes, coffee and husbands' busy doing their thing make me happy. I always enjoy a cup on Saturday mornings while I cruise blogs and he watches fishing shows. Now it'll make me think of you and smile. :)


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