Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Potatoes & Gravy
There is a good reason that some foods are called comfort foods. They give us a feeling of calmness, warmth and often fond memories. Unfortunately many if not all of these foods are not necessarily something that we should be eating at every meal. Unless of course we work a 10 hour day of hard labor. Yet still there are the occasional times when we indulge ourselves and partake of those things that always seem to bring a smile to our face.
A comfort food that can well be called one of my favorites is potatoes and gravy... You know the real potatoes cooked up and mashed just right. Then the gravy that is not from a package but made from the drippings of the meat cooked earlier. My mother being the German she is, had several ways to prepare potatoes. And I think I can safely say we had them every day at least once and sometimes twice. From potato pancakes to fried potatoes and onions they were all so delicious. Yet my favorite by far was when she fried pork chops and made potatoes and gravy.
I have tried over the years to duplicate that taste from her yet I just never seem to get it right. I think much of this is because it just always taste better when someone else prepares food for you.... That is if they are a good cook. Yet from the reviews I receive on my own attempts I am led to believe that I am not too bad at it.
There are a couple other things that give me a smile and a fond memory. My grandma's Lemon Pie: something I later found out she would make just for me when she knew I was coming. Saltine Crackers with a thin layer of real butter spread across the top: This was the treat that my grandma would give us as children when we stayed at her home. Soft white bread with butter and sugar on top: Another treat from Grandma. My moms fried chicken: something I still have not completely perfected. Pie Crust squares: Left over pie crust which is rolled out and topped with sugar and cinnamon. Violet, a woman I worked with when I was young, taught me how to make this. And the list goes on.. I guess I have a few more than just a couple.
Comfort foods bring us a feeling of nostalgia. A remembrance of people whom we love and hold dear. They may not be the healthiest food, yet it is hard to say that they are not good for you. As they take the worries of the day and make them disappear for a bit, giving you a moment of serenity and peace. So I say indulge now and then. Give homage to the memories and the people who with just a few bites can make us feel a little bit better, if only for a while.