Food is such a complicated ingredient of life. We need it to survive, but it’s so much more than that. We turn to food for comfort, for warmth, and for remembering. And it’s funny how certain smells and tastes can conjure up strong emotions, some of them good, some not so much.
For example, I haven’t been able to eat orange popsicles since I was in grade school. Why? Because whenever I had a stomach bug, my mom would give me orange popsicles. It’s no surprise that I developed an aversion to that frozen neon orange ice on a stick. I equated the flavor with all things porcelain. Yuck!
Another example, fresh corn on the cob. I love it so much. It reminds me of the carefree summers of my youth; when I didn’t care if butter soaked maize was bad for me, or if a few kernels were stuck in my front teeth.
Food brings people together, it’s the one thing in life that we all have in common. Even if we have certain dietary restrictions or moral codes about what we can or can’t eat, sharing a meal together, or just one course, can form and strengthen friendships and bonds. I mean, who isn’t happy while sitting, conversing, and eating something delicious?
When we’re cold we want warm food, when we’re hot we want chilled food, when we’re tired we want fast, easy food, when we’re inspired we want high minded, gourmet food, and when we’re sad we want comfort food. Whether we admit it or not, our emotions are tied to food and food is tied to our emotions.
Today I wanted so many things, and it came through in my cooking.
After a weekend of warm temperatures, Mother Nature has pulled a fast one and handed winter back to us. It’s 38° and there’s a chance for snow flurries tonight. Hence, I’m yearning for something warm.
Because I don’t want any more winter, and I’m fist pumping this Chicago weather, I want something filled with bright, beautiful summer vegetables.
Finally, after attending my dear friend’s funeral today; God bless her and her family, I need comfort food.
It’s also Kick-Start Monday, so on top of everything else that I’m needing, I want to reset and get back on the healthy train after this past weekend’s eating indiscretions.
Fortunately for me, I had a lot of fresh veggies in my fridge, some pasta in my pantry, and some beautiful pansies on my patio. With these I was able to tick all of my craving boxes and make one truly wonderful dish that will satisfy me on this cold, sad, but hopeful Monday. And because I love all of you, I’m going to share it with you. Let’s pull up a chair and eat, laugh, and get to know each other.