Oh, this is embarrassing, but those things that offer us the most comfort often are. I have a friend who, in her darkest times, still sleeps with her teddy bear even though she's in her 40s. I have another friend who watches Sesame Street and counts along with the Count, even though he's been out of college for many years.
And me? I could tell you quite a few secrets here, all the embarrassing comfort things I do. I won't. Instead I'll just tell you about dinner last night.
I was tired. I was cranky. And I wanted something really easy. All the leftovers were just too... leftover. You know what I mean.
I made Hamburger Helper. I didn't improvise with browned ground beef, fresh herbs from the garden with noodles and tomatoes and other yummy stuff. I didn't create some lovely faux stroganoff. No. I pulled a pound of ground beef out of the freezer, I grabbed the box off the shelf and I made dinner in 15 minutes flat.
It was salty, gooey, unhealthy, comforting and yummy. It wasn't what I want to eat every day or even with any regularity, but boy... for right then it was just right.
I know we all have our embarrassing comfort foods and rituals. I was kind of surprised to find that one of mine was out of a box and so easily created; usually I happily lose myself in chopping and stirring and measuring. So much for sophistication, but then again, when is sophistication as comforting as, say, a teddy bear, Sesame Street and a bowl of Hamburger Helper?
(c) Laura S. Packer