Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I think it’s interesting to learn about the food traditions and habits people grew up with. I don’t mean the ones connected with holidays, but just everyday type things, like roast on Thursdays. When I was a kid there was a family in our neighborhood who had cereal for dinner every Sunday night. I thought that was so cool. It’s like college food services shutting down on Sunday nights; let them eat cereal and give the cooks a night off.

My mom was a health Nazi before it was popular. I remember being concerned I wouldn’t fit in when I went to junior high because I didn’t like Cokes. Unfortunately I learned to like them, a lot. There was a cookie drawer my brother and I could get in to only after dinner. For some reason that rule didn’t apply for my kids. Mom even offered them treats from the drawer regardless of the time of day. That still bugs me.

For years, every Sunday night, our family had dinner with the Caseys. We would either go to their house, or they would come to ours and we would order out. Dad and I ran the dinner pick up. It usually came down to two choices; Minute Man, a non chain hamburger place, or Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC usually won.

I suppose that’s why KFC is comfort food for me. I can smell hot frying oil and good memories flood in. I rarely eat fried chicken, but sometimes when my mental health needs attention, I visit the Colonel. If my life gets really sad or stressful a McDonald’s fish sandwich and hot fries makes it all better. I still can’t figure out what that’s all about.

We all have foods that link us emotionally to secure, warm times in our lives; Grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies, an aunt’s Karo nut pie, or your mom’s macaroni and cheese, which more than likely came of a blue Kraft box. Outside chicken soup for a cold or the flu, why is comfort food not necessarily the best for us? For some reason we just don’t turn to broccoli or squash to be consoled.

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