Thursday, August 11, 2011

Food for Thought

Comfort food-food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal. For each of us it's something a little different, but as the definition states, for all of us our chosen comfort food is attached to a memory that elicits feelings of wellness and peace. Even my daughter Adelle at two years old has developed a taste for comfort food. I noticed this a few days ago when Adelle and I made our way down the street to my grandmother's house for our morning coffee. It's important to understand that nothing is ever as simple as a a cup of coffee or any meal for that matter when shared around my grandmother's table. Unlike most furniture, lifeless and dull, this table is alive- a living breathing testament of a life well lived. If by some magical maneuver one could extract all the words exchanged over the years, that table would tell you the story of us, our family-our trials, our triumphs, the love that we have shared throughout the years. We have laughed and cried, healed and hurt at that table usually all while enjoying something homemade and delicious. So when I go for morning coffee, yes quite literally I do drink coffee, but it is served with a side of the most late breaking political news, some sort of much needed but regretfully not always taken advice, and if I'm lucky a story or two about days gone by. With such banter frequently exchanged at meal times, it's easy to see how food is much more that nourishment for the body. In my family food can be strong medicine for the soul. Adelle got a good dose of comfort just the other day. After a long chat around grandma's table, a cup of coffee, and a few slices of homemade banana bread I announced to Adelle that it was time to go home. Of course this elicited a complete meltdown.
The problem with taking children to visit grandma Bev is that they never want to leave. On this particular day Adelle was especially upset by our parting. Luckily grandma has some pretty impressive tricks up her sleeve to take a kids mind off what's troubling her, and yes these tricks always involve food. "Here Dell Belle. Take this with you to snack on sweetie." my grandma said as she cut off a hunk of warm banana bread and slathered it with butter. And just like that the tears stopped. Adelle skipped happily out the door. About half way down the street Adelle looked up at me, smiled, and said, "Mommy, this bread makes me feel better." Strong medicine indeed. Adelle had found her comfort food. In the opinion of a two year old that banana bread of course tasted good but was more importantly a little piece of comfort to take home and a reminder that grandma and grandpa are close enough that on any given day, if the wind is blowing just right, you can smell the banana bread baking a few houses down-a call to all those seeking a little comfort.
*If anyone in the family happens to read this post, I would like to know what your comfort food is and why.

Bev's Banana Nut Bread
1/3 c shortening or vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
Sift and add alternating with
1 c mashed ripe banana:
1 3/4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
Fold in
1/2 c chopped nuts
*Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes
*I like to use 1 c flour and 3/4 c whole wheat flour. Chocolate chips are always good to throw in the mix. ENJOY!