It’s funny how our favorite comfort foods remind us of a particular moment in our lives. Like I can’t eat an eggroll without thinking of my childhood neighbor, a funny Filipina woman who tricked me into eating a baby squid one night when I was sleeping over with my best friend, her daughter, and I was asked to help prepare eggrolls. And the first time I ever truly enjoyed scrambled eggs and bacon was the day after my daughter was born. I was exhausted and hungry and I was in a shared hospital room with a woman who, for some reason, never showed up. Because all my pregnancy weight came off the minute Elle was pulled from my swollen belly, the nurses insisted I eat both breakfasts. And I did. I ate a double order of bacon and eggs (and toast, yogurt, and fresh fruit) for three days straight. It was heaven.
Sometimes I’m a little heartbroken by other memories of comfort foods, too. Tortilla soup always takes me back to the communal dinner my very large family shared on the floor of my cousin’s living room the evening my grandmother was put to rest. South Florida was unusually cold and rainy that October day and that warm tortilla soup was perfect. A few years later, my grandfather has staked his claim on biscuits, which were the very things I ate the morning after his funeral.
I was halfway to Oklahoma with my husband and daughter. I was coming to terms with one of the hardest decisions I’d ever made after choosing not to add 12 hours of out-of-the-way driving to our already stressful move out West. I had to say goodbye in my own way. My grandfather was thrilled that I had married Matt and was so eager to meet him but time never let that happen. Grandpa always backed me up, though, when it came to petitioning the courts to allow my move to Oklahoma to happen. So when it did, we packed our belongings that morning and headed to the home of Matt’s long-time friends who were gracious enough to open their door to my highway-weary family.
And that evening, I finally broke down in a stranger’s guest bedroom in Jackson, Mississippi, fell into a hard sleep, and woke up the next day to homemade biscuits.
Sometimes the comfort of food just makes life a little easier.