Comfort First, Then Ignore The Mashed Potatoes

English: Mashed potatoes with butter and chives.

English: Mashed potatoes with butter and chives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I made mashed potatoes the other night. And ate too much. And I topped my mashed potato mountain with a gravy lake, no less.

Thank goodness for the plastic container on the counter, all ready to accept the leftovers. Otherwise, I would have picked at all that white, creamy goodness right down to the pot’s metal sides.

Some foods are like that. They defy you to remove them from their cooking vessels and place them in storage for another meal. They beg and plead with you to keep eating, finish them off, continue to consume to the point of a stomach so discomforted that no amount of thick pink or fizzy lemon antidote will help.

Many of these kinds of foods are the so-called “comfort foods:” potatoes of many kinds, macaroni and cheese, rice dishes, meatloaf, a burger with all the classic toppings. Maybe we should rename them “comfort-up-to-a-point foods” because they are comforting until we eat too much. Then it feels like you’ve eaten a brick, and you’ll be waiting an eternity to, shall we say, pass it on.

Every culture has its own versions of comfort foods, and we turn to them in times of celebration, joy, trouble and sorrow. As a nation, we are at the end of the celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights known as Hanukkah, Christmas is over and Kwaanza is in progress. But the holidays feel different in the light and sound of gunfire and death in Newtown, Connecticut, and the loss of 26 lives. And that’s in addition to the lives lost in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, a Portland, Oregon mall and on the streets and homes hammered by Superstorm Sandy. If ever the times called for the smallest familiarity of comfort foods, this time is now.



Filed under cooking, family, food, Holiday, thought, Violence

2 responses to “Comfort First, Then Ignore The Mashed Potatoes

  1. cheesy

    I pass on the gravy, but I love making my mashed with fresh minced garlic, butter and fresh dill or rosemary! 🙂

    • nancymn

      I also add either sour cream or a bit of horseradish to mine. DH hates those “enhancements.” He’s a Midwesterner who likes his gravy and ‘taters just like that – gravy and ‘taters.

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