What's Your Comfort Food?

Granny? It’s me… My voice sounded oddly childish as she laughed on the other line. “Well hello honey, how are you? I bet you’re busy cookin’ ” Granny said as I wiped my hands and switched her off speakerphone.

“Do you remember when you used to make that yummy corn bake, the one that was fluffy like a soufflé? Can you give me the recipe? Oh and the mac and cheese too… I begged, reaching for my notebook.

Granny rattled off an ingredient list from memory, giving explicit cooking techniques with possible recipe variations to delight even the most finicky of palates. My pencil raced across the page to keep up with her instructions and side commentary. I returned to my recipe testing, wondering why I always crave Granny’s food when I feel the stress from long workdays weighing heavy on my shoulders.

I cleaned my kitchen, packing my wares to head off to work, thinking about the term “comfort food” and what it really means. Do you know that an estimate 61,000 people have died this year due to natural disasters? We’re not even talking about all the hideous man-made disasters of the past decade like September 11th. It’s no wonder that comfort food has become a big commodity in recent years.

So what is comfort food, really? It seems that comfort food has a slightly different definition for Americans, depending on where you grew up, your heritage, and who was responsible for family meals. However, one thing is universally true. Comfort food warms the spirit as well as the stomach, satisfies the soulful cravings of the heart, and is prepared and given with love and compassion.

“This is just like my mother used to make!” my favorite client told me the other night, after eating one of her mother’s special dishes that I worked hard to replicate. World peace isn’t on the way anytime soon, but here’s my plan for a little peacefulness we can all experience, right now. Take refuge with family, friends, and the people you love. Delight them with their favorites – perhaps you’ll make a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese, or a hearty scoop of creamy mashed potatoes topped with gravy, finished with a hug.

So What’s Your Comfort Food?

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