Edible Memories: Comfort Food
I’m participating in a little writing course called “Edible Memories” for the first two weeks of December and I’ve decided to do some sketching in my journal along with the writing. I’m going to share some of my writing and sketches with you. Enjoy.
I can tell you one thing about comfort food for sure: it’s not green. No, it’s never green. Comfort food can be almost any other color. My list includes foods that are red, orange, white, gold, and brown. Wishing for snow, I will write about whiteness. Whipped cream, sweet on my tongue. Not homemade, but the kind in a can. Put a dollop on chocolate pudding, cooked on Grandma’s gas stove, chilled in small glass cups. A simple dessert after a traditional Lithuanian holiday meal. Milky broth heated until the last bit of butter melts–Vermont corn chowder made from scratch. Diced bell peppers and onions fried with bacon until the onion bits are translucent and the peppers turn dull and lose their greenness. Potatoes and corn piled almost to the top of the pot, covered with milk and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of parsley. Slowly heated until the pats of butter floating on the top of the creamy white milk melt and form a new surface of yellow ready to be stirred in as a finishing touch. Sour cream spooned from a plastic container onto a dish piled high with freshly fried potato pancakes. Not latkes, not hash browns, but traditional Lithuanian “bulviu blynai” made with the potatoes pressed against the finest side of the box-grater, smoother than grits, looking like old gray porridge in the bowl before Grandma worked her magic and turned them into crisp, hot, golden goodness.The secret ingredient? A touch of grated knuckle. Marshmallows in the bag waiting to be taken out, stabbed with a twig, and toasted until they are gently browned, or even better, scorched to black. If they’re lucky, they’ll be sandwiched with a square of Hershey’s milk chocolate between two halves of a Graham cracker. I already want s’more. No one ever called a salad “comfort food.”