April 12th – “Comfort Food”

I heard on the radio that today is “National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day”. I think Kraft came up with the idea for this day because after hearing the announcement, I found myself at the store buying cheese slices to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are considered part of a larger food group known as “Comfort Food” which includes things like; Kraft Dinner, chicken fingers, chips, ice-cream, hot dogs, nacho’s, etc. We all have a go-to food that we eat, not because it makes us healthy, but because it makes us feel good. It makes us feel comfortable. And by the way, with respect to all you super healthy people out there, kale is not a comfort food. I’m not even sure it’s meant to be a food.

Do you have a favourite comfort food?

I think I have many, but spaghetti always stands out for me. My mum used to make it for us on cold, wet days, much like today. While she was making it, she would always ask my brother, sister and me if we wanted a Mummy-sized portion, a Daddy-sized portion or a GIANT-SIZED PORTION!! Of course we would always say “giant-sized”. Why wouldn’t we? We were kids who loved the idea of eating what a giant would eat. The funny thing is, as I look back on it now, the portions were always exactly the same. A Mommy-sized portion was different from a GIANT-SIZED PORTION in name only. But we didn’t care. And we didn’t notice, because the fun was not in the amount of food on our plates, but in playing out this ritual each and every time.

Robert Fulghum in an awesome (and very touching) little book called, “From Beginning To End: The Rituals Of Our Lives” wrote this,

“…rituals are sacred because they give deliberate structure to our lives. Structure gives us a sense of security. And that sense of security is the ground of meaning.”

Comfort can be found in food, in relationships, in all kinds of places, but isn’t it true that the real comfort in what you put on your plate or in your heart, is found in the rituals that surround it.