Tuesday, July 1, 2008

dreaming of pop tarts

I'm back home, sleepy, but fine. They did some biopsies and the results come back in ten days or so. But, really, I'm not worried at all.

In fact, I'm lying here puzzling over one of those phrases that has always, well, puzzled me. Namely, comfort food. There are plenty of foods that I really like (though, to be fair about it, more that I really, really hate). There have been many times when I've gone on food strikes, where I crave and eat only a very limited variety of foods. For example, a couple of years back, I had to have two frosted brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts for breakfast every single morning. Sometimes I was so eager to eat them that I burnt my fingers pulling them out of the toaster. But once that phase ended -- as inexplicably as it began -- I stopped eating pop tarts altogether.

But, comfort foods. Is this just one of those phrases that doesn't mean anything except that you enjoy and seek out certain foods? Or are there foods that actually have an emotional charge, that soothe you, that bring comfort? And what are they?

32 comments:

ewe are here said...

Food to make you feel better, for whatever reason. For me, ice cream, chocolate, pizza...

Julia said...

Comfort foods are supposedly the carb-laden ones that make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Like some soups, stews, and mashed potatoes. In other words, the stuff that is bad for me (except for chicken soup, which can also be counted in the bunch, I think).

debbie said...

For me, comfort food is definitely soothing. It truly has some kind of baby-blanket-like affect on me. When I'm tired, worn out, or stressed, certain foods really just make me feel better. My top few food soothers include macaroni and cheese (even the boxed kind), bread, pizza, pasta and any kind of fruit pie. Yum.

Maggie said...

I don't really understand the idea of comfort food myself - I understand the concept, just not the practice. But I think that is because I don't take comfort, persay, in any particular food. Which does not mean that I don't love to eat -- because, oh, do I love to eat.

Mrs. Spit said...

For me at least, food is connected to place and person. Certain foods take me back to where I was, and who I was with, and in that, they bring me comfort.

Magpie said...

when sick? tomato soup with cottage cheese. when sad, mashed potatoes followed by ice cream.

feel better. you have people with you?

Tash said...

I used to get this, until food could no longer comforted me. It used to be ice cream, always (boyfriend breaking up, bad grade on chem test), but then it didn't work. Now a days I'd have to say coffee. I really can't function without it. I'm addicted. I could leave everything else behind, but without coffee, I'd lie in bed all day wondering why on earth I should get vertical.

Tash said...

'scuse the typo. Clearly a G&T comforted me not long ago.

Tash said...
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slouching mom said...

heavy, carb-filled foods are traditionally comfort foods:

mac and cheese
mashed potatoes

tho i go for ice cream every time.

glad you're home. thinking about you.

Ms. Planner said...

Cupcakes.

I just wanted to let you know that I hope things are going okay for you. You have a lot on your plate that might be worrisome right now. Just wanted to let you know I've been thinking about you and hoping things are okay (or will the concept of bearable suffice?)

Aurelia said...

MMmmmm, cupcakes.

Also, Jos Louis cakes, twinkies, comfort foods of all the carby, sugary type, but especially anything cheap and easy to eat, as opposed to anything I'd have to eat in a precious way.

Like no fancy forks can be involved, only spoons and fingers.

a- said...

Chocolate reigns supreme for me. Just the thought of it makes me smile!

Waiting Amy said...

Yes to mash potatoes and ice cream, depending on the type of comfort needed (and the season too).

Hope you are coping okay and thinking of you.

Monica H said...

Just about anything made by my grandmother brings me comfort. Oh, and chicken and dumplins' mmmmm.

And just so you know, Pepperidge Farm has a new cookie out. Well actually the cookie isn't new, but they have a new flavor of Verona cookies- blueberry. It tastes exactly like blueberry pop-tarts.

FYI: I LOVE chocolate pop-tarts and I'm going to crave them til I get them. Thanks.

Beck said...

I can't stand ANY repeating in the food that I eat. ANY. At all. If I eat a delicious meal one night, the next night's had better be completely different. I'll never eat leftovers because of this - luckily, my husband takes them for work.
So what's COMFORTING to me changes constantly - and obviously, when I have morning sickness or am otherwise not feeling well, I have problems finding foods that are both soothing enough and yet unrepetitive enough. Because I am crazy or something.

painted maypole said...

i've always understood comfort food to be foods that you turn to when you need comforting... for me it's mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. but since comfort foods tend to not be particularly good for you, it's probably good that you don't look to food for comfort!

Kymberli said...

I'm another mac & cheese and mashed potatoes gal. When I'm sick, it's always chicken noodle soup and/or grilled cheese sandwiches. If I'm leaning more towards something sweet, then it's definitely ice cream.

Glad you're back, glad you're doing okay, and I'll be even happier when the results come back and reveal that you're healthy.

The Nanny said...

Mmm. I do love food. And it's weird, because I'm incredibly picky. But I LOVE the food that I'll actually eat.

Comfort foods? Um, pretty much everything. Ice cream and chocolate seem to be the top 2, though. But when I have the sweet, I've gotta have the salty--i.e., ice cream with potato chips. (I swear I hardly ever eat that. I know how unhealthy it is...my arteries practically scream for mercy afterward. But it's SO GOOD.)

Monica C. said...

I'm glad you aren't worried, although I must say.. very UN-Niobe like. Is this the new you?

My problem is pretty much all food comforts me. I'm an emotional eater. Happy.. I eat. Sad.. I eat. You get it. But my faves are: clam chowder (New England only), cream of wheat with brown sugar and butter, and tamales.

thirtysomething said...

glad you are back home and ok.
comfort foods - yeah, there is definitely something to that I think...for me, in a tough spot, I grab some HOT fresh McD fries...can't beat 'em. hate everything else from that place, but the fries...if you are wanting some warm comfort in a hurry..

Bon said...

i'm an emotional eater, alas, so yep, food brings a form of comfort. but it makes rising above bad eating habits hard.

i've been thinking about you.

Bea said...

To me the term "comfort food" does not primarily denote individual subjective associations but rather a class of food that people enjoy not because it is flavourful or trendy but precisely because it is the opposite. Comfort food is usually bland and warm: mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, rice pudding. Comfort food has little flavour, colour, or texture, and it is usually old-fashioned. When my first marriage ended, it was over a week before I could manage to eat anything that involved chewing, so I can see how these attributes are related to the concept of comfort. Although I routinely use chocolate for comforting purposes, I would never include it in the "comfort food" category - and in states of extreme emotion I can't actually handle chocolate (it's good only for moderate distress).

Mad said...

Home made soups. They make me want to stay in my house for a season and avoid all the world's stings. Given a choice, I'd take minestrone and borscht topped with sour cream and fresh dill.

wheelsonthebus said...

Food does comfort for a lot of people. Applesauce sometimes has this effect on me, although I wouldn't call it my favorite food.

slouching mom said...

there's a little treat for you over my way. and no, it's not comfort food. ;)

slouching mom said...
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Amelie said...

Thanks. Now I know what comfort food officially should be. I go for chocolate, good dark chocolate, if I want "comfort food" (since I had no idea about the carbs).

I also have those food-craving up and downs. Interesting. Buttermilk is the last one I remember (the time of the day didn't matter), and when I didn't want it any more, there were a couple of cups left that nobody was interested in.

Hope you feel better soon.

wannabe mom said...

I'm so relieved that you're home and feeling fine.

My comfort food is a filipino chicken rice stew, thick and tasty, with ginger, garlic and onions, best when one is feeling down.

Christine said...

i'm so behind.

i'm glad your home, i hope it all turns out well in the end.

xoxo

oh--my comfort food--anything with sugar, usually small candies like jellie beans, chocolate kisses, etc.

Janette105 said...

Oh my GOD, what I would give for a giant box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and it HAS to be the powdered cheese one. I haven't the slightest idea why that box of heaven is SO DE-LISH to me, but there are times where I just can't make it fast enough.

Ok, Pop-Tarts...so good with a glass of milk. I LOVE THE MAPLE-BROWN SUGAR ONES!

I'm hungry.

Glad you're doing better. I'm thinking the happy thoughts!

Aunt Becky said...

Pathetically enough, McDonald's. Yup. Cause I'm 6 years old.