Comfort Food

So I’m sick. My sinuses seem have surrendered to the up and down chaos that has been Memphis weather this winter. I just feel blah.

Of course, I’m sleeping a lot more than normal, but when I am awake, I crave comfort food. Now I know that when you hear the words “comfort food” you probably think about something completely different from what I think about. “Comfort food” is something that you learned to love as a child. It’s that food that mom or grandma always made (or bought) for you to eat when you felt too bad to eat anything else. No matter what your comfort food happens to be, I’m sure that it’s gentle, soothing, and rich. Or maybe not, but it makes you feel better regardless.

For me, I crave different things than those I normally eat and write about. Mashed potatoes and gravy, preferably from KFC, even though they never taste the way I remember them tasting when I was little. Macaroni and cheese, not the homemade kind that tastes so divine, but the simple, humble orange powder in a box kind. Chicken noodle soup without any chicken, just broth and noodles, the tinier the noodles, the better. Lipton noodle soup in an envelope to be very honest about it. A bologna sandwich on Wonder bread with margarine. A spoonful of peanut butter. Pancakes with chocolate syrup.

Yes, it’s mostly junk food. But it reminds me of being a very small sick person, small enough to curl up in a lap and be rocked, small enough to be carried and to be fussed over, small enough to get an extra story to help me fall asleep. Sometimes it’s hard to be the grownup when all you want is to be that very small person again. It’s no fun being sick when you have to take care of yourself. But one bite of any of those foods, and for just a second, I can feel bigger arms than mine around me. And that’s what comfort food is all about.

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