The Weird Love of Comfort Food

I realized that I hadn’t laughed today.

The more I think about it…I’m pretty sure I didn’t laugh yesterday either. Oh,  there was plenty of “Heh. Heh.” chuckles.

But there’s something definitely off-center when I can’t remember when I had a guffaw that came from the middle of my belly and erupted up my throat.

So in honor of a good laugh, I’ll tell you a story.

My grandma believed in comfort food to bind the family together.  She grew up in the depression era, so a fat chicken with home-made noodles was rich eats  for her.

Her favorite meal was a mess of quail. It was a wet, nasty April day like today when she asked my dad if he’d shoot her a quail. She said she’d been pining for one for quite a while.

“Well, sure Ma,” he said.  I was at Grandma’s when he brought  in her bird, all dressed and cleaned, with the legs cut off.

“You just shoot one?” she asked.

“Yeah, you eat it. We want burgers, don’t we, Sug?” he winked at me. I’d been raised on rabbit, squirrel, and venison, or whatever my Dad could shoot. To me, a burger was a welcome reprieve.

Grandma fried up her bird. “He’s kinda paltry lookin'” she said as she pushed him around in the skillet.

“Well, there’s not much for the  little fella to feed on. You shoulda waited til things greened up.” Dad gave me another wink.

We sat down to eat, and Grandma started wrestling the bird with her teeth. She gnawed and tugged, trying one side of her mouth, then the other. “This is a tough ol’ booger,” she mumbled and went back to chawing on a leg. Tears streamed my father’s face as his chest jiggled. I looked back and forth between him and Grandma, trying to sort it out.

When her dentures flew across the table. It was a full minute before he could get his laughter under control and tell her, “It was a crow.”

“My dawd!” Grandma scowled. “I thought the meat looked awful dark.”

Dad was laughing so hard, his voice sounded like a little girl’s as he wheezed, “April Fools.”

That was my family. Somehow the jokes communicated a trust deep enough to risk a laugh at ourselves and each other. I’ve moved away and grown serious.

I need to laugh. It lightens my heart. Maybe I’ll make some comfort food. Maybe I’ll make it with pepper-jack and call the family.

What’s Your Comfort Food?

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Smiles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Weird Love of Comfort Food

  1. Les Riles says:

    Comfort food choices: almost any pasta dish, or a nice casserole, especially if it has cheese in it, (any kind). Potatoes too. I had a casserole the other night that my wife cooked up from a GIANT quantity of turnips that our neighbor gave us. She cut around 465 turnips up into 1/2 inch cubes, covered them with 85 pounds of cheddar, and baked them for one full cycle of the moon. They were great. Even if you don’t really care for turnips (I do, eggplant too) this simple way of making them makes a comfy food casserole that’s hard to resist. (IMHO) Beats crow, too! (And always save room for chocolate afterwards.)

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  2. susanls says:

    Too funny! Let them eat crow!

    And my comfort food is Chinese. Chow fun, dim sum, mongolian beef. Also mole (mo-lay, not the furry little blind thing), chicken enchiladas (homemade of course), tapioca pudding. And McMenamin’s fries, with a dungeon burger, but no beer. Don’t like beer. EGGPLANT! I LOVE EGGPLANT. I get Barb’s eggplant, the rest of you can have my avocado.

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  3. Barb says:

    Roxie, I’ve never heard of discomfort food, but now that you mention it, eggplant would be at the top of the list. Good thing you didn’t eat the Easter bunny, he needs to bring Sharon and Lisa their chocolate.

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  4. Barb says:

    Lisa,
    You eat McMenamin’s fries without beer? Can I have your beer if I promise not to eat any of your fries. And sorry, you did include chocolate. YUM

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  5. digipicsphotography says:

    Pasta with alfredo sauce. And, of course, chocolate.

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  6. Roxie says:

    I LOVE your dad!! And your grandma was a darn good sport. No wonder you have such zest in your life.

    Comfort food? Spaghetti with butter. Cinnamon toast. Warm milk with honey. NOT crow!

    And then there’s discomfort food. Mom fixed rabbit for dinner once when I was about four and my older brother, Denny, was fifteen. I remarked that the chicken tasted funny. Denny said, “It’s not chicken. It’s rabbit. You’re eating the Easter Bunny.” I burst into tears and refused to eat another bite, even though Dad assured me it was just an ordinary rabbit. I got icecream and Denny didn’t.

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  7. Barb says:

    You left out chocolate

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  8. Lisa Nowak says:

    McMenamin’s french fries. Baskin Robbin’s waffle bowl sundaes. King Burrito’s chile relleno burritos. Lindt chocolate. Cake. Potatoes in almost any form. Anything with cheese on it.

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