Thursday, March 5, 2009

Comforting comfort food

It's comforting to know that my husband loves me. I am comforted by the attention paid to me by my faithful dog. Knowing that a damn smart man is in the White House now makes me feel comfortable even though everything still seems to be crumbling around us!
So what's all this talk about comfort food? Mashed potatoes, meat loaf, mac and cheese. Who decided these foods were comforting? And isn't that sort of pathological in some way to perpetuate the idea that food comforts us? The media loves the concept of comfort foods--that we Americans are turning to what appears to be pretty unhealthy foods in our time of stress over the economy. Creamy mashed potatoes (they're always mentioned in just about any article about comfort food) made with butter and cream. Meat loaf made with ground beef and topped by bacon. And Mac and cheese, all ooey gooey (and stinky) and calorific. So we're comforting ourselves with food that will add physical stress to our mental stress? Hmmmm.
And who decided that it was mashed potatoes that are comforting. Nope. I prefer the crunch of a french fry. And meat loaf? Not me. A juicy burger, the kind where the fat runs out when you bite into it. Mac and cheese? I don't think so. Not for me. I don't like cheese--icky poo. Cheese smells. On the other hand, a steaming bowl of gnocchi covered a pink sauce, studded with pine nuts. That might comfort me. Just a little. Hot fudge. There's got to be hot fudge in there some place or I will remain stressed.
Bottom line...People, food is not comforting. Having a savings account during this economic upheaval (DOWNheaval) is comforting. Having a job and health insurance and no outstanding bills. That's comforting. Food? It's something to eat. It tastes good (or it should). But don't drown your sorrows in calories. Go to the gym and sweat it out!

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