I asked my boss what she wanted me to write about today. She said: “write a blog about the death of comfort food, like mac & cheese, peanut butter sandwiches and the like”. She said this while eating peanut butter out of the jar – evidence of a trying day, and confirmation that what’s old is new again. I replied that I could only write about cars. She said that’s fine, try food. I walked away and knew my peanut butter was gone forever.
Comfort food is the type of stuff you want after a stressful day. You want to crawl into bed with something warm, not overly rich…and, well, bad for you. For me, comfort food is anything that involves carbs or calories, alcohol included. Comfort food is food that you don’t want to order on a first, or second date. It is the type of food you blatantly lie about eating in front of your mother/trainer/girlfriend/wife because you know you are not supposed to be consuming it. But, you don’t really care because it makes you feel good, and after a long day, you’re entitled to that, right? Right.
This kind of food is deeply nostalgic: it takes you back to your childhood when you were care-free. That is why we eat comfort food – it’s something we eat when we don’t care about anything else but ourselves. It is a chance for us to do something for ourselves without fear or care of judgement from anyone else.
In our modern society, everyone gets all “judgy” about what we consume. “That has too many carbs!”, “the fat content on that is crazy”, “and carbs are bad”. I walk away from those people. I don’t need that negativity in my life. I honestly thought gluten-free was a political party until someone explained to me what gluten was. I am still not entirely sure what it is, but I do know this: gluten-free restaurants are a dark and sorry lot. They are full of that negativity I don’t need in my life…I think I will spend more time in a bakery or deli, thank-you-very-much.
Carbs: welcome to my weakness. I love pizza, I love pasta, I love thick-sliced fresh bread on a sandwich. I love beer, and I love carbs. They fill me up and leave me satiated. I HAD friends who don’t eat carbs – we don’t talk anymore because they are too busy running marathons or competing in the Iditarod.
I don’t even think the word “comfort food” existed before the internet was popular. Up until the 1990’s people just ate what they wanted without fear of reproductions from there table guests. Back then, comfort food was called “this is what we are having for dinner” or, “I had _____ for lunch”. And that was it! People didn’t have crazy responses about how bad that food was for you, and the Surgeon General didn’t put warnings on the sides of beer cans, either. In our modern society, we care too much about what others think about us and how we will be perceived.
I think we should collectively take a stand against people telling us what we should eat. Let’s make the dinner table judgement-free, shall we? Forget what they say in all those magazines at the grocery checkout. Ignore the person who says trans-fats are bad, they probably don’t even know what trans-fats are! We need to rise up and take back our meals and feel good about it.
Now…Can I get my peanut butter back, please?