I’m grumpy today. If Oscar the Grouch’s girlfriend Grungetta ever needs an understudy, I could step right into her role. Since cooking is a creative process for me and closely linked to mood, today’s curmudgeonly disposition has affected my approach to my kitchen.
It’s a good thing that this week’s menu is all about comfort food because when I’m grumpy that’s the direction I take. It was actually quite soothing to prepare tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and pudding. The process took me back to innumerable childhood lunches. There’s something smile-inducing about the memory of dunking a grilled cheese sandwich into a bowl of soup.
For most people comfort food is something that they associate with childhood; some dish or group of dishes that evokes memories of happy times in a place where they felt safe and loved. This is certainly true of my favourite comfort foods. I’m not craving mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, or butterscotch pudding for their flavours (although they are certainly very good). I’m craving them for the memories associated with them.