Comfort foods! Oh yes, this month's #phctop3 contest is all about food. November is a good time for it, now that we've all had our fix of candy, we can begin to focus on the main meals of Thanksgiving (for those of us in the US, anyway; those of you in Canada already had your feast - it's our turn now).
Food plays a vital role not only in personal sustenance, but in familial ties and cultural bonds. The history of humankind is, in large part, a history of the search for food. From our start as hunter-gatherers we went to where the food was. When we finally settled down in an agrarian lifestyle we did so because of a guaranteed supply of food (and beer; really, who doesn't think that part of our sedentary lifestyle didn't come from someone finding some fermented water and thinking "Hey, this good.")
Some of the most vital gods and goddesses of early humankind revolved around home care, the hearth, and foods (and beer - seriously) (side note: Yes, I believe that beer is the number one cause of civilisation, and arguably the number two cause of parenthood (which leads to further civilisation)). Food was very scarce for much of our history and, to this day, wars and social unrest are, in large part, due to a lack of food.
"Sharing a meal" is a concept so ingrained to our psyche due to these issues that food is more than just sustenance like it is for our pets or wild animals; it's a social building experience probably second to none. Even Jesus had his Last Supper. For his last moments on earth he could have chosen anything he wanted; he chose a meal with his closest friends. Even the Norse gods needed food - Syf's golden apples kept them young.
All of us have some form of comfort food. Just take a look at all the foody posts on the blockchain. Food is near and dear to us! So here, in order, are my three favourite comfort foods.
1: Vanilla Milkshake.
I have precious few fond memories of childhood. One of the few that I do have revolves around a vanilla milkshake from Dairy Queen after primarily dentist visits. I still fetch one after I visit the dentist (who needs that unnecessarily clean feeling in their mouth anyway, right?) and my boys now ask for one too (though they prefer strawberry; I love them anyway).
2: Pumpkin Pie
I have absolutely no idea why I love pumpkin pie so much, but it never ceases to make me feel good. I suspect it has to do with Christmas and stuffing my face with it as a child after Christmas dinner. We always used to bake the pies ourselves, but it was always with canned pumpkin. I remember discovering just how to prepare a pumpkin on my own for the first time and being amazed by it. I always had some misconception that it had to go through some factory process by pumpkin-masters to get Just That Right Taste. Lo, "that taste" happens to be the taste of pumpkin! These days I make pumpkin pie from scratch, including my own pureed pumpkin.
3: Fresh baked bread.
Mmmmm. The smell of a kitchen with fresh oven baked bread. Mmmmmmm. I need say no more.
And there you have. My three comfort foods.
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(c) Victor Wiebe
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