Friday, May 16, 2008

Article #5 Comfort Foods

Lately, I haven’t had much interest in food, which is unusual for me. After a recent visit with my grandkids, I have been sick with a cold that turned into pneumonia. (I love visiting my grandkids, but sometimes they do make me sick.) Now that I’m starting to feel better and regaining my interest in food, I’m looking for “comfort food.” We all have those items from our past that remind us of home, and Mom or Grandma who were always ready to nurse us with home cooked food. Food does have power to console us. I know homemade chicken soup always heals both my body and soul when I’m sick, but I have no energy to make any or the ingredients.

Tonight, as I’m hungry and rummaging through the refrigerator, I remember another favorite comfort food of mine and many of my pioneer ancestors—“bread and milk” with homemade white bread, of course. But there is no fresh homemade bread in my house, and it takes more energy and hours to make than I have. Then I discover some leftover store bought Italian bread slightly dried out which could be substituted for homemade bread, though it’s not the same thing.

Breaking a slice of my leftover bread into small pieces and then dropping them into a big mug of cold milk to eat with a spoon, I feel just like a pioneer. I remember the good old days as though I‘m not living with modern conveniences or have the ability to buy the whole world of fast food available anytime near my condo.

Grandma would take the hot loaves of her homemade bread from her coal stove and turned them upside down to cool on the kitchen table nearby. The inviting aroma of fresh baked bread filled the air. Only a few minutes later, I’d be asked if I wanted a slice of warm crusty bread dripping with melted butter served with homemade preserves (is there any other kind?) and lots of love. Grandma always made homemade bread; she never bought store-made bread. That was unheard of then.

Later in the evening, a whole meal or supper could be made with just a slice of this homemade bread broken into small pieces and dropped into a cup of cold milk. Reassuring, healing comfort food. Where's Grandma when you need her? Well, I'm the grandma now.

(PS I'm no longer sick and just returned from a visit with my grandkids and didn't get sick! This article is for the Senior Sampler-a local paper-see part I, p. 13.)


  1. There you are, I found you on musings page. So glad you are better. Hope you continue to get stronger. Making your own chicken soup when you are sick is not the same - somehow. It always seems better when someone else does it for you. I remember having to make my own several times.

    I love your article, it is beautiful! I found myself back in time as a child, when we had (and cooked on) a wood burning stove.

  2. I do believe in comfort foods. I can't say that bread and milk had ever done it for me. I think it's disgusting. I can't eat soggy bread. However, there are few things in life better than warm, homemade bread with jam.